2016 Flyers free-agent fit: Red Wings C Darren Helm


Each day until July 1, the day free agency begins, we will profile some of the NHL's top impending free agents and project their likelihood of signing with the Flyers.

Darren Helm, center

Age: 29
Height: 6-0
Weight: 196
Last team: Detroit Red Wings
2015-16 cap hit: $2.125 million

Scouting report
Helm has been in the Red Wings' organization since they drafted him with the 132nd pick in 2005 and he debuted in 2007-08 in a supporting role on Detroit's Stanley Cup team.

The 29-year-old didn't break into the NHL full-time until the 2009-10 season, when he recorded 11 goals and 24 points in 75 games. He's largely been a third-liner in Detroit.

In 2011-12, then-Red Wings coach Mike Babcock called Helm the "best third-line center in the league." He's an extremely hard worker who's an elite skater with a ton of speed.

During his time with Detroit, Helm has also found himself playing in the Wings' top six, mostly alongside Pavel Datsyuk. He's a responsible, smart two-way player who can play both center and wing. His speed is his best attribute, but he's a bit undersized.

As a result of his frame and style of play, Helm does have a tendency of getting injured. He's played a full 82-game schedule just once in his eight-year career.

To be fair, Helm has appeared in a majority of the Red Wings' games the last two seasons, so his injury problems have appeared to be under control. In the last two seasons, Helm has missed just 12 out of a possible 164 games for Detroit.

Helm enters free agency with 72 goals and 162 points in 443 career games. His best season came in 2014-15, when he scored a career-high 15 goals and 33 points.

On the surface, Helm doesn't fit with what the Flyers are looking for this summer.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall wants to add size and scoring this offseason, which would go greatly in moving this franchise into the next phase of its retooling.

Helm neither has size nor is a noted goal scorer. He could be inserted on the Flyers' second line, and would fit well with Sean Couturier in a shutdown role.

But Helm wouldn't be coming to the orange and black to score 20 goals. He would come to add another role player who would add speed to the lineup and improve their penalty kill.

He wouldn't be the sexiest of signings, but if the Flyers went after him to replace one of their current bottom-six forwards, I wouldn't be against it, either.

Do I see him coming to the Flyers? I don't.

I think they have other needs they want to address. But if they were to replace Matt Read, Chris VandeVelde or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with Helm, I think it would improve the team.

Final say? Helm stays in Detroit.

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