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Top 25 San Jose Sharks Under 25: No. 19 Adam Helewka had a topsy turvy rookie year

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He started off hot, cooled off substantially, and emerged as a potential bottom six option moving forward.

 
San Jose Barracuda

Adam Helewka started his first full professional season on fire. He missed the early part of the season recovering from preseason ankle surgery, but scored eight goals in his first 14 games with the San Jose Barracuda last season. He converted on an otherworldly 38% shooting on his first 21 shots of the AHL season.

Matching Kevin Durant’s career three-point shooting percentage in a hockey season predictably proved unsustainable for the rookie, who scored just six goals over his next 44 games. Since regression is cruel and unforgiving, Helewka’s shot rates increased substantially (2.2 shots per game from 1.5 in the first 14 games) over his extended slump, but he couldn’t find the back of the net. He shot at the same rate in the postseason, but managed to score just three goals on 26 shots in 12 playoff games.

Taken on the whole, though, Helewka’s performance is likely a solid indication of who he is as a player at this stage of his development. His 17 goals on 142 regular and postseason shots amounts to approximately a 12.0% shooting percentage, which is solid.

Helewka cannot be expected to score on 38% of his shots, but he isn’t as bad as his 6.3% shooting percentage over the regular season’s final 44 games would suggest. His game lies somewhere in the middle, and that area represents a solid potential bottom six option for the Sharks down the line. He’s got the size and work ethic, and his increasing shot production over the season is encouraging, even if the lack of goal-scoring wasn’t. If he can continue to generate shots, and even up his point production slightly, he may skate in the Sharks’ bottom six sooner rather than later.

Bio

Name: Adam Helewka

Age (as of 9/9/17): 22

Position: LW

Last Year’s Ranking: 19

2015-16 Team: San Jose Barracuda

Where he’ll (probably) be next year: San Jose Barracuda

What we like

Size, work ethic, shot generation.

What to improve on

Footspeed, offensive consistency.

Highlight

Helewka showed off his smarts and hands in front of the net on December 18 against the Ontario Reign, scoring two goals in a game for the second time in his professional career.