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January 30, 2017
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Former Wellington Dukes defenceman Bryan Helmer — whose jersey No. 44 was retired by the Junior A hockey club in 2014 — has been inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame.

Helmer, 44, was enshrined in the Class of 2017 with ceremonies held during the recent AHL All-Star Classic in Allentown, PA.

Helmer spent four seasons with the Dukes, from 1989-93. He scored 25 goals and piled up 87 points iin 57 games in his final season with the Dukes, then turned pro with the AHL's Albany River Rats.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound Soo native went on to play 20 seasons as a pro, mostly in the AHL where he was a three-time Calder Cup champion. Helmer was a three-time All-Star, played more career games than any other AHL defenceman and is the league's all-time scoring leader for blueliners with 564 points in 1,117 games.

Helmer appeared in 146 career NHL games for Arizona, St. Louis, Vancouver and Washington, posting 8-18-26 scoring totals.

After his playing career, Helmer spent one season as an assistant coach with the OHL's Peterborough Petes and two back in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. He is now director of hockey operations for the Bears.

Need to know: Helmer played six games for the OHL Belleville Bulls during the 1989-90 season.

(Courtesy Paul Svoboda, The Intelligencer)

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