What's the deal with this kid? I remember years ago, he outplayed Marian Gaborik in some tournament (can someone refresh my memory?). He was touted as a huge steal in the 6th round (was ranked 15th among Euros his draft year), but he's since disappeared and disappointed everywhere he's gone. Playing 4th line minutes in Switzerland isn't exactly what you'd expect out of a guy who outplayed Gaborik in any game.
I was really intrigued about the idea of a good Swiss forward on the Rangers. From what I remember, he got cocky, then lazy, and could barely cut it in Switzerland. He's been with a bunch of teams. The last I heard, at the end of last season, he stepped up, refound his talent, turned things around a bit, and has actually played well. I think he's been playing on a scoring line, not the fourth line anymore. Doesn't sound like the kind of guy we'll ever see in NA, though.
Of course, this is all old, third-hand information that I've just paraphrased. Now that there are some Swiss fans hanging around here (with the Furrer thread), they can probably tell you what's what.
Five years ago, Helfenstein was considered the greatest talent over here. This was quite justified: Great speed, flashy moves, he put up good numbers at the different WJCs. But somehow, he wasn't able to handle the pressure and meet up expectations. Maybe he was a bit overconfident and thought his natural skills would be enough to earn a spot on the top line. Even if he works hard defensively, his lack of size was a problem and remains to this day. He was relegated to the fourth line, and was even sent down to the farm team. Luckily for him, he got dealt to another team and the picture is now quite different. With the ZSC Lions, he plays on the top line along with Robitaille and Petrovicky. These three really have good chemistry. With the playmaking qualities of Robitaille and Petrovicky, he can use his speed effectively. I would say he's one of the fastest skaters in the league. Recently, he was injured, but he seems to have a strong comeback. As of his chances of making it in North America, they are slim... He is too soft, and doesn't have the potential to play on the top two lines in the Nhl.