The San Jose Sharks have signed Red Deer Rebels forward Adam Helewka to an entry level contract.
The Sharks selected six-foot-two, 200-pound Burnaby, BC native in the 4th round, 106th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Helewka started this season by playing three games with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. He was returned to the Spokane Chiefs before being acquired by the Rebels on January 1.
In 26 games since joining the Rebels, Helewka has collected 18 goals and 14 assists.
Helewka says it feels great to have a deal done with the Sharks.
"It's a start to a lot of things and it's good for my parents as well with all the stuff they've gone through throughout my career to help get to this point," Helewka said prior to practice Thursday at the Enmax Centrium.
"Adam plays a smart, two-way game, with good instincts in all three zones and can finish," said Sharks GM Doug Wilson in a media release announcing the signing. "He has enjoyed quality development under the watch of Spokane Head Coach Don Nachbaur and now in Red Deer under Head Coach Brent Sutter, and we look forward to his continued growth with our organization."
Improving on his two-way game is something the Sharks have asked Helewka to work on.
"Focus on defense as well as playing a little bit heavier, throwing the body around and winning battles, stuff like that."
While the Sharks have shown confidence enough to sign him to a three-year deal, Helewka feels he still has more to do to get his game where it needs to be.
"It's been ok the last five or six games. I know come playoff time myself and a lot of other guys are going to have pick it up. You know, just playing faster, playing heavier, playing the way that our coaches are trying to get us to all play together."
While official terms of the contract were not released, the deal reportedly comes with an average annual value of $705,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level.