It would be impossible for anyone to follow up yesterday’s Jack Hughes and P.K. Subban additions, but the New Jersey Devils have brought in yet another player to the organization. The AHL announced that forward Adam Helewka has been dealt to the Devils by the Nashville Predators, the second trade between the two teams in as many days. The move adds only “future considerations” for Nashville, but opens up a contract slot for a team with 41 of a maximum 50 players already signed and several restricted free agents still to sign.
Helewka, 23, has been a standout player in the minors for the past few years. A fourth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2015, Helewka had been a dynamic offensive player in the WHL. He debuted in the AHL for the San Jose Barracuda in 2016 and spent each of the next two full seasons with the team, collecting 29 and 38 points respectively. San Jose traded Helewka to the Arizona Coyotes last summer in exchange for defenseman Kyle Wood and the scoring winger broke out with the AHL’s Tuscon Roadrunners, recording 31 points through his first 41 games of the season. However, he would not see the season through in Tuscon (or get rewarded with an NHL call-up to Arizona), as Helewka was traded again in February to the Predators with Laurent Dauphin in exchange for Emil Pettersson. Helewka continued to play well despite the move, registering 19 points in 24 games for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. His play even convinced the Predators at the time that he was worthy of a contract extension, a one-year, two-way pact signed not long after he was acquired.
For one reason or another, Nashville came to regret the contract, as Helewka has now been traded yet again for nothing concrete in return. The Devils are happy to take advantage of the Predators’ change of heart though. New Jersey has eight forwards who played regular AHL minutes last season, many of whom also saw NHL action, who are either unrestricted or restricted free agents and not everyone will return. The team needs a re-haul in the minor leagues and could do far worse than a player who notched 50 points combined in just 65 games last year. Helewka will likely be a top contributor for the Binghamton Devils next year and will look to finally find a long-term fit, perhaps even one with the opportunity to make his NHL debut.