The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender, Riku Helenius to a two-year deal worth $1.2 Million. Helenius, 24, will earn $550,000 in 2012-13 under a two-way contract. In 2013-14 it will be transitioned into a one-way contract that will earn $650,000.
Tampa Bay drafted Helenius in the first round, 15th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2007-08 season he spent most of his time with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, appearing in 41 games, posting a 2.42GAA and .915SV%. Helenius hit the ice with four different clubs during the 2008-09 campaign, Augusta Lynx (ECHL), Norfolk Admirals (AHL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), and Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL).
During 2011-12 Helenius played for JYP of the SM-liiga League in his native Finland. He recorded a 1.64GAA and .936SV% in 33 games played.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have kept their interest in Helenius and will likely continue his development at the AHL level during the 2012-13 season. When the time comes in 2013-14 he will have the ability to step into a backup role as Mathieu Garon will no longer be under contract.
When the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh takes place in eight days, it has been rumored that the Lightning will make a move for a starting goaltender. One name that has been rumored is Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings.