Darren Helm
Darren Helm
33-Year-Old CenterC
Detroit Red Wings
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Red Wings know exactly what they have in Helm, but the $7.7 million question -- that's how much the veteran forward is owed over the next two seasons -- centers around his ability to consistently provide a level of offense that would appease the Wings and fantasy owners alike. An upper-body injury is largely to blame for Helm being limited to 61 games last season, and the penalty killer stacked only seven goals and 10 helpers against a minus-11 rating and 14:34 of average ice time. Helm is best reserved for owners in deep leagues, and even then, it's difficult to envision a scenario where he'd consistently yield solid returns. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $19.25 million contract extension with the Red Wings in July of 2016.
Ready to rock
CDetroit Red Wings
Undisclosed
February 15, 2020
Helm (undisclosed) will play against the Bruins on Saturday, Dana Wakiji of the Red Wings' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
Helm didn't participate in Friday's practice, but he's ready to go against the division rival. The 33-year-old winger has recorded 14 points through 56 games, but he adds a solid physical presence with 74 hits and 35 PIM.
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NHL Stats
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2016 NHL Game Log
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2019–20 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    13:31
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:02
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:29
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2017–18
15:34
0:08
2:01
2018–19
14:34
0:03
1:53
2019–20
13:31
0:02
1:29
Red Wings Depth Chart
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Red Wings Power Play Depth Chart
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
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2016
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2008
Nobody will be mistaking Helm for a gem in fantasy settings, but he's been quite the find for the Red Wings as he brings plenty of intangibles to the ice. For one, the 2005 fifth-round draft pick is adept at killing off penalties, and he's capable of playing down the middle or on either wing. Despite starting a career-high 58.4-percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the defensive zone last season, Helm's offensive numbers didn't suffer as he wound up with 13 goals and 18 assists through 75 games on a checking line. The fleet-footed forward has three years remaining on a contract valued at $3.85 million annually before he'll become an unrestricted free agent.
How far can foot speed take you in the game of hockey? Helm knows that answer, as his best trait netted him $226,471 per point in an abbreviated 2016-17 campaign. The Manitoba native was limited by shoulder and lower-body injuries, ultimately managing only eight goals and nine assists over 50 games. Fantasy owners can appreciate his proficiency on the penalty kill -- where he's averaged 1:47 of ice time over the past three seasons -- but his Corsi For percentage (a measure of possession value) was substandard at 48.0 percent, and an evident lack of patience led to a subpar 8.2 shooting percentage. Given the depth at the center position, you can likely acquire Helm for pennies on the dollar this season, but there’s a good chance that pennies are exactly what he’s worth in most fantasy leagues.
An undersized but gritty two-way veteran with wheels, Helm is the prototypical Red Wing. He’s spent at least parts of nine seasons exclusively with Detroit, highlighted by a Stanley Cup win in 2008. Helm secured a five-year, $19.25 million contract extension in July while making it clear that he wants to be more involved in the offense moving forward. He may get his wish, as early signs point to the 29-year-old slotting in on the second line along with talented playmakers Frans Nielsen and Gustav Nyquist. You could do much worse than selecting Helm, a special-teams extraordinaire, in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this fall.
Helm was finally able to return to hockey in 2013-14, scoring 20 points in 42 games. He once again struggled with injuries - both groin and concussion - but at least was able to show flashes of the speed and skill he possesses. If he could stay healthy for a full season, he could score 45-50 points, but that hasn't happened in a few years.
Helm is a complete mystery heading into 2013-14, as the back injury that kept him out all last season still hasn't been officially diagnosed. Although he is practicing again, this led to setbacks in 2012-13, so it can't be trusted. He's a speedster and a quality third-line center when healthy, but Detroit doesn't know if they'll have Helm back in time for the season to start. It's best to avoid him now and perhaps grab him on the waiver wire later.
A lacerated tendon in Helm's forearm ended his season after 68 games last year, while he was on track to approach the 32 points he posted in 2010-11. Much like teammate Justin Abdelkader, Helm's fantasy value is likely limited by his even strength role. As a speedy checker, he matches up well against opposing teams' top line, while his wheels make him an asset capable of scoring goals on the penalty-killing unit as well. Helm had surgery for the injury in April, and is expected to be fully recovered for the start of training camp.
Helm delivered a career-high 32 points, including 12 goals, while playing in all 82 games for the Wings last season. His value to the club is derived primarily from his contributions to the penalty-killing unit, but Helm has game-breaking speed that makes him a dangerous player in open-ice situations. If he centers the Wings' third line, Helm could make a run at 40-45 points this season while providing a pesky forechecking presence, but it's unlikely that he'll ever be utilized as a top-six forward in Detroit.
Arguably the fastest player on the pond donning a wing-wheeled sweater, Helm has turned into a very well-rounded checking-line player while earning the trust of head coach Mike Babcock. Although his time at even strength could be limited while he centers the fourth line, Helm is a valuable penalty-killer for the Wings. Last season, he chipped in 24 points in 75 games including 11 goals, with three tallies coming short-handed. For now, he remains more valuable to the Red Wings than to fantasy owners because of the nature of his role.
For the second straight season, Helm provided a late-season boost to the energy line in Detroit, eventually leading the league with 118 hits in the postseason. He's not in a position to provide much offense now, but he could eventually develop into a 30-35 point player with more playing time. The speedy Helm was ticketed to start the year as the Red Wings' fourth-line center, but a sprained AC joint in his shoulder will likely put him on the shelf until the middle of October.
Helm seems destined for at least a third-line spot in Detroit for the long term, but he may be showcasing his excellent speed and penalty-killing ability in Grand Rapids (AHL) to begin the season. In the early years of his career with the Wings, Helm is going to provide energy as a part-time contributor, but they trusted him enough to use him as the fourth-line center during the playoffs last season.
More Fantasy News
Probable for Saturday
CDetroit Red Wings
Undisclosed
February 14, 2020
Helm (undisclosed) is expected to play in Saturday's game against the Bruins but won't know for sure until the morning of the game, Dana Wakiji of the Red Wings' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dazzles in return
CDetroit Red Wings
February 11, 2020
Helm (undisclosed) scored both of the Red Wings' goals in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Sabres.
ANALYSIS
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Expected to suit up Tuesday
CDetroit Red Wings
February 11, 2020
Helm (undisclosed) is expected to be in the lineup for Tuesday's game in Buffalo, Dana Wakiji of the Red Wings' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Still sidelined Sunday
CDetroit Red Wings
Undisclosed
February 9, 2020
Helm (undisclosed) won't be in the lineup for Sunday's afternoon matchup with Boston, Dana Wakiji of the Red Wings' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Won't play Friday
CDetroit Red Wings
Undisclosed
February 7, 2020
Helm (undisclosed) won't be in the lineup for Friday's game against Columbus, Dana Wakiji of the Red Wings' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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