Penalty killing ability is pretty tangible when you're in close games (which we will be often again this year). Ability to win faceoffs is an essential part of winning in todays game - Helm back at center will supply that. Speed does matter. Forechecking pressure matters. Ability to move from center to wing up and down the lineup is important for finding line combos whenever we need to change things up. And he does produce as a secondary scorer. He's overpayed, but this is not a player like Emmerton we're talking about here.
We're not paying him like a core player. I saw someone else say that and it looks like it's caught on. If we could get a core player for 3.8 we wouldn't be worrying about how to fit in Trouba's caphit as earlier on this page