Bryan Helmer wrote his name into more American Hockey League history last week as he made his return to the league with the Oklahoma City Barons. Helmer eclipsed fellow Ontario Hockey League grad John Slaney’s AHL record for the most career points by a defenseman. Slaney’s mark had stood at 519 points.
Bryan Helmer was not very well known around Ontario Hockey League rinks. Helmer played just six games with the Belleville Bulls during the 1989-90 season. For the most part, his junior hockey career was played with the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL. Yet, at the age of 40, Helmer has put in a very admirable hockey career.
Bryan already owned the all-time AHL mark for most assists and games by a defenseman. Helmer is seventh all-time among all players for total games played. He also owns the AHL record for most playoff games in a career. The past three seasons, he’s captained his club. In 2007-08, it was the San Antonio Rampage. The past two seasons, Helmer was the captain of the Calder Cup champions, the Hershey Bears. The Calder Cup victories with Hershey were his second and third after winning one with the Albany River Rats in 1994-95.
Despite playing at a lower level of junior hockey and not being drafted to a NHL club, Helmer has managed 146 games in the NHL as recent as this past season, 2009-10, with the Washington Capitals. He appeared in 12 games with the Caps. He has also played for the Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.
After just six games with the Barons after signing on over Christmas, Helmer has ten points. It would seem there’s a lot of life in this quality d-man yet. Bryan should serve as inspiration to all young (and not so young) hockey players. He’s definitely proof that persistance is king.
Check out Bryan Helmer’s profile page at the Oklahoma City Barons official website.