Seth Helgeson
Image: NHL

Seth Helgeson


Faribault Minnesota

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Eligible for draft:









4th round (114th overall), 2009


220 lbs.

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2006-07: Seth Helgeson was a standout player at Faribault High School back in his home state of Minnesota. Selected in the 2nd round, 24th overall in the 2006 USHL Futures Draft by the Sioux City Musketeers.

2007-08: Helgeson joined the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL. Saw action in a total of 62 games (playoffs included) for Muskies, collection g 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) and 43 penalty minutes.

2008-09: Helgeson played his second season with Sioux City. Named to the USHL’s Western Division All-Star Team. He played for Team USA’s gold medal squad at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge.  Was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL draft by the Devils.

2009-10: Helgeson had a shaky start to his NCAA Career, but appeared in 31 games with Minnesota; recording 1 assist with 24 penalty minutes.

2010-11: Helgeson appeared in all 36 games for Minnesota as a sophomore and was frequently paired with Blues’ prospect Cade Fairchild. Despite the Gophers’ struggles (an uncharacteristic fifth-place finish and first-round lost to Alaska-Anchorage in the WCHA playoffs), Helgeson established himself as a consistent, shut-down defender at the college level. Helgeson chipped in offensively for the Gophers, scoring 1 goal with 6 assists and was plus-7, but it was his toughness (including a team-leading 66 PMs) and positional play that was his strong suit.

2011-12 Helgeson skated in 42 games for Minnesota as a junior; providing a veteran presence on a young defense corps that was a key to the Golden Gophers’ success. Partnered with sophomore Justin Holl (CHI) much of the year, he was plus-12 with 5 goals and 9 assists and had a team-leading 70 penalty minutes. The Gophers won the WCHA regular season title and after losing to North Dakota in the WCHA semifinals defeated the Fighting Sioux in the NCAA West Regional final the following week to reach the Frozen Four.

2012-13: Helgeson signed a two-year entry-level deal with New Jersey in April and made his pro hockey debut — skating in four AHL games with the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany following his senior season at Minnesota. He had no points and was plus-2 with 2 penalty minutes with Albany, which missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Northeast Division. Helgeson’s final season with the Gophers was a successful one as Minnesota won its second straight WCHA regular season title. The lone senior in the Minnesota defensemen corps, Helgeson had 5 assists and was minus-5 with 62 penalty minutes in 40 games. The season came to a disappointing end as the Gophers lost to Colorado College, 2-0, in a WCHA semifinal game and lost in overtime to eventual national champion Yale in an NCAA West Regional semifinal.

 2013-14: Helgeson was one of two players along with forward Harri Pesonen to skate in a team-leading 75 of 76 regular season games with New Jersey AHL affiliate Albany in his first pro season; leading the Devils with 100 penalty minutes. He was plus-12 and scored 1 goal with 9 assists. Albany finished second in the Northeast Division and lost to eventual Calder Cup finalist St. John’s in a first-round playoff series. Helgeson was minus-2 with no points and 2 penalty minutes in four playoff games. 

2014-15: Helgeson made his NHL debut with New Jersey on November 11th, recording an assist and finishing +1 with 2 penalty minutes in a game against the Minnesota Wild. The Faribeault, Minnesota native played 22 games for the Devils in his second pro season, spending most of the year with AHL affiliate Albany. He had 2 assists and was +4 with 18 penalty minutes, averaging 13:27 minutes of ice time with New Jersey. Helgeson scored 2 goals with 10 assists and was +3 with 58 penalty minutes in 49 AHL games. Albany missed the playoffs, finishing fourth in the Northeast Division. Helgeson was re-signed to a two-year contract as a restricted free agent in July 2015.

Talent Analysis

Helgeson plays a simple and safe game, using his imposing size to his advantage. He excels at rubbing opponents out along the boards and behind the net. His long reach aids him with defending off the rush and in his own end. He is usually in good position and does a good job using his stick to take away passing lanes. A prototypical stay-at-home defenseman, Helgeson’s skating stride and puck skills have improved markedly since he was first drafted. He is limited in terms of offense but makes strong, crisp outlet passes and does a good job of getting the puck through traffic and towards the net.


Helgeson is in his third pro season in the Devils' organization; spending the first half of the 2015-16 season with AHL affiliate Albany before being recalled in the beginning of January. A no-frills defender with limited offensive inclinations to his game, Helgeson is a solid lower pairing defender who is most effective playing within the structure of his team. His willingness do the hard, dirty jobs and protect teammates makes him a valued teammate.

Seth Helgeson taking on leadership role with Minnesota

by DJ Powers
Photo: Seth Helgeson has been one of the top defensive defensemen in the nation in 2011-12. (Photo courtesy of Josh Holmberg/Icon SMI)

University of Minnesota junior defenseman Seth Helgeson (NJ) has become one of the college hockey's best defensive defensemen. This season he is part of a well-balanced Golden Gophers blue line that has contributed in a variety of different ways to help Minnesota get to the Frozen Four.

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2009 Prospects: Seth Helgeson

by Guy Flaming

He’s the highest rated player available from the USHL in advance of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft according to ISS in their first monthly release of the season and that sets the bar very high. Fortunately for Sioux City defenseman Seth Helgeson, he’s a pretty big guy.

Listed at 6’5 and 220 lbs, Helgeson is a late 1990-born player so will be one of the oldest players available for NHL teams in June. Often times that will give teams pause, but other teams see that as simply the chance at getting a slightly more developed player than a comparable player born 11 months later.

In any case it will be his size and physical play that scouts notice first because there is abundance of both where Helgeson is concerned.

The native of Fairbault, Minnesota came into the season ready to take on the pressure and attention that comes with a player’s draft year by trying not to lose focus on the business at hand.

“You can’t think about that too much," he said. "I think that when kids have their draft year coming up they can get caught thinking about it too much and maybe they don’t play as well so coming into this season I was trying to put that out of my mind. I’m just trying to get better every day with the coaching staff in Sioux City and everything’s been going really well this year. I’m excited for the season and the draft is a long ways away so you can’t think about that.”
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