Defenceman Bryan Helmer entered the 2001-02 season hoping to gain a full time spot on the Vancouver Canucks. Since debuting as a pro in 1993-94, most of his playing time took place in the AHL with brief NHL stops in Phoenix and St. Louis.
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Helmer played his amateur hockey with the Wellington Dukes of the MTHL and the OHL's Belleville Bulls. After playing solidly for the Albany River Rats of the AHL in 1993-94, he signed a contract with the parent New Jersey Devils. Helmer supplied offense and grit for the Rats over the next four seasons but was never recalled to the NHL.
In July, 1998, Helmer signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes where he played his first 11 NHL games before he was relegated to the minors. He was placed on waivers in December, 1998 and claimed by the St. Louis Blues where he ended up playing 29 games. Helmer spent most of the 1999-00 season in the minors then signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks. He played solidly and averaged nearly 17 minutes per game in 20 contests during the 2000-01 schedule and went on to play two more seasons in the Canuck organization before rejoining the Coyotes organization in the summer of 2003. Helmer went on to play 17 games with Phoenix before being acquired by the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2004.
The following pair of seasons Helmer would spend with Detroit's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids becoming a mainstay in the line up. Despite his consistent play with Grand Rapids, Helmer was not resigned by the club.
Helmer signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes in July of 2006.