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The Comparison of Helm to Draper

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Wings' Darren Helm plays a style Kris Draper can appreciate

Ted Kulfan / The Detroit News

Calgary, Alberta— Darren Helm has often been compared to Kris Draper.

Both had — and have — a skill set based on speed and the ability to hound opponents.

And after Helm's goal during Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Oilers, you can add an ability to make scoring look easy to the list.

"When he scores like that, he's definitely a young Kris Draper," Draper said of Helm.

Actually, both are thriving playing on a line with Patrick Eaves (or Tomas Tatar while Eaves has been hurt).

"We need contributions from everybody right now when we're short-staffed," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Draper has played well and Helmer, he's a real good NHL player."

Draper is 39, Helm 23. Experience-wise, they aren't close, with Draper having played 1,122 games and Helm 138.

Sure, they're headed in different directions career-wise. But, since just before Christmas, they've developed a chemistry using their strength — blinding speed.

"We've been playing pretty well together," Helm said. "It had been a while since we played together. At first it was just mixing and matching, and now we're finding a little spark and chemistry. It's effective when we can use our speed and find each other."

Draper has three goals his last seven games. Helm has one goal and six assists his last eight.

Todd Bertuzzi is an ardent believer Helm will develop into a dangerous offensive player. And Tuesday's goal — a slick shot past Nikolai Khabibulin — only reinforced that belief.

"It's just a matter of him realizing it and working on it," Bertuzzi said. "It's (scoring touch) something you have to develop.

"Sometimes you get portrayed as a certain kind of player (Helm being primarily a checker), but he has another element to his game. He's so gifted with his speed, and for the amount of breakaways he gets, it's just something he needs to work on and gain confidence to try things and be patient."

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110106/SPORTS0103/101060351/Wings--Darren-Helm-plays-a-style-Kris-Draper-can-appreciate#ixzz1AF0jTI1w

Helm was really good in the last game against the Oilers.

I'm not so sure I completely buy the comparison to Kris Draper however. Maybe I'm just weird but when I hear comparisons I think of a player's main defining trait. To me, Kris Draper's defining trait in his prime was that he was simply annoying. For one, the fact that a guy that small worked harder than them really irritated opponents. They often felt like, "How the f*** is this little midget chihuahua beating me at everything?" Two, he wasn't afraid to chirp away and run his mouth at anyone. His own teammates today will still tell you playfully that he just doesn't shut up no matter what he's doing. Lastly, he was just a fiercely competitive ball of energy all over the ice with speed. So to me, Draper's defining trait in his prime was his many layers of being annoying.

When I think of Helm I see someone who is very different, which of course, isn't a bad thing. He is who he is. He's got blazing speed and is good defensively and on the PK. But right now I don't feel the same annoyance that I did with Draper. The kind of feeling of, "Thank goodness he's a Red Wing because if he wasn't I'd probably send two guys to knock him on his ass all game."

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He certainly reminds me of Kris Draper moreso than anyone else. His speed creates so many opportunities; if he can fine tune his hands and his shot a little more I daresay he'll be a 20 goal-scorer.

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He certainly reminds me of Kris Draper moreso than anyone else. His speed creates so many opportunities; if he can fine tune his hands and his shot a little more I daresay he'll be a 20 goal-scorer.

Agreed.

Helm should stay for an hour after practice working on breakaways at top speed. If could finish more often hauling ass like that, 90% of his goals in a season would probably come on breakaways.

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I've thought of Helm as a great Draper replacement. Eaves will be a great Maltby replacement too. Ironically enough, they're numbers are similar too.

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Helm does remind me of Draper. Both are just workaholics on the puck but as of right now I would give it to Draper in that area just because he seems smarter out there which is just veteran experience. Draper in his prime maybe could go head to head with Fedorov in terms of foot speed and Helm is just as fast.

In another 4 years or so Helm will be a great veteran in the Red Wings lineup. He still has things he has to work on like using his wingers better but that is just NHL experience which comes with time.

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Helm gets more scoring chances on this team than just about anybody on speed alone. When he figures out how to score on breaks like he did in game 7 of the Semi's in '09, then we are looking at an up and coming star. The comparison to Drapes is probably the closest you could find. Helm just brings some different elements that maybe Drapes didn't, but we have to remember even Drapes had a 20 goal season once too. It can happen and I would love it as he has definitely been one of my favorite players to come through the system in a while.

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Helm's better at creating chances where Draper is better at scoring. That's the only real difference I see.

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They could pass for twins.

The speed, the lack of finishing ability, leading the team in breakaways, and the work ethic and penalty killing prowess.

Drake_Marcus likes this

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I sort of thought that comparison was widely accepted by everyone already.

I've definitely looked at Helm - Abby - Eaves as being a sort of new incarnation of the Grind Line. Obviously, they aren't on a line together; but if I had to compare them to Red Wings of the past it would be the members of that line. Obviously, Abby will never be the tough guy that Mac was - but he definitely fills that gritty, grinding role on this team. The 3 of them work hard in their own zone and create chances by simply out working their opponents - just like the Grind Line did.

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Helm needs to get better at faceoffs to be compared to Draper.

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Draper-Helm I can understand, but Eaves is nothing like Maltby in terms of agitation.

sputman likes this

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Draper-Helm I can understand, but Eaves is nothing like Maltby in terms of agitation.

Or scoring ability; Maltby's best season was 14 goals in 65 games, and he scored 14 goals two other times. Eaves has scored 20 goals once, has scored 14 goals another time, scored 12 in 65 last season, and has scored 11 in 32 so far this season. Eaves has scored 58 goals and 126 points in 339 games to Maltby's 128 goals and 260 points in 1072 games. That's a ridiculous difference in GPG and PPG.

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If Helm can work on scoring on breakaways that alone will get him 20 goals. I've never seen a player get so many breakaways consistently.

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I sure hope Helm can become the next Draper, and have 35~ points a season, play Selke level defense, and be pretty damn durable while doing it. If you can ask more from a fourth liner, then they wouldn't be a fourth liner.

If Helm can work on scoring on breakaways that alone will get him 20 goals. I've never seen a player get so many breakaways consistently.

He just does not have hands for it, if he had any real goal scoring ability, he would be an amazing player, but, even without it, hes still very good.

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both are my favorite wings. always will love draper (my favorite ersey i own), been a fan since 97'. darren is becoming a big favorite of mine.

Edited by hokeychik22

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I'm probably among the few fans who actually have a Helm jersey, but I feel like he's going to be a great offensive player if he works on his shot and offensive decision-making a bit. Either way, I'd still be a huge fan if he remains a 3rd/4th liner the rest of his career.

On a side note, is anyone else impressed with Bertuzzi and how he's kind of taken on the role of a mentor to the younger guys? It's great to have these kinds of guys around to help the next core of Wings.

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Helm needs to get better at faceoffs to be compared to Draper.

That goes for the entire effing team of late...

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I just miss the Maltby-Draper stand in place skate chopping race they used to have during the anthem back in the day. thumbup.gif Those were the days.

Edited by HankthaTank

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Or scoring ability; Maltby's best season was 14 goals in 65 games, and he scored 14 goals two other times. Eaves has scored 20 goals once, has scored 14 goals another time, scored 12 in 65 last season, and has scored 11 in 32 so far this season. Eaves has scored 58 goals and 126 points in 339 games to Maltby's 128 goals and 260 points in 1072 games. That's a ridiculous difference in GPG and PPG.

Right, I think Abdelkader is more like Maltby. Eaves maybe a better comparison to Doug Brown or Brent Gilchrist.

I just miss the Maltby-Draper stand in place skate chopping race they used to have during the anthem back in the day. thumbup.gif Those were the days.

I found it weird on the October 30th game I was at against Nashville, with Maltby retired and Draper injured, not seeing those two lead the warm up.

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ive been thinking about this all year, hoping too, do you think helm will be invited to the skating comp? i just dont see how he cant be.

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