Phoenix signs defenseman Helmer

The Phoenix Coyotes, parent club of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, announced on Wednesday that they have signed defenseman Bryan Helmer to a two-year contract.

As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Last season, Helmer recorded 12 goals and 44 assists for 56 points, along with a plus-25 rating, in 80 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins, earning honors as a Second Team AHL All-Star. Helmer tied for sixth among all AHL defensemen in scoring and ranked fifth overall (first among defensemen) in plus/minus rating.

Helmer added one goal and eight assists in 16 Calder Cup Playoff games as the Griffins reached the Western Conference finals.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Helmer rejoins the Coyotes for a third stint after having previously played with the organization in 1998-99 and 2003-04. The 33-year-old blueliner has played in 134 NHL games with Phoenix, St. Louis and Vancouver over parts of six NHL seasons, collecting 23 points (8g, 15a) and 133 penalty minutes.

Helmer has played in 712 games in his AHL career, recording 101 goals and 304 assists for 405 points with Grand Rapids, Springfield, Manitoba, Worcester and Albany. He won a Calder Cup championship with the River Rats in 1995, and was a First Team AHL All-Star in 1998.