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The son of former NHL defenseman Kjell Samuelsson, Mattias Samuelsson was born in the United States but also has Swedish citizenship. He choose to represent the US in international competition and is currently playing for the US National Team Development Program. Samuelsson put up 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 44 games this year. Last year, he had 14 points in 37 games for the Under-17 squad. He stepped up his offence this season. Samuelsson is the captain of the Under-18 World Championship team and has a goal and an assist in four games in the tournament. He plays big minutes for the squad and is often given the match-up against the other team’s top lines.
Samuelsson is committed to play for Western Michigan University next season. Should he change his mind and opt to go the CHL route, his rights are owned by the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting.
Mattias Samuelsson Scouting Report
Defense — shoots Left
Born March 14th, 2000 — Voorhees, New Jersey
Height 6’4″ — Weight 217 lbs [193 cm / 98 kg]
Samuelsson has good balance and can use his size to outmuscle opponents. He is a good skater for his size, with decent speed in both directions. However, his acceleration could use some work. It takes him a few strides to reach that top speed which can be an issue in closing short distances and getting to loose pucks. His agility and footwork are decent. While they can use some improvements, he changes directions quickly enough in most situations, and his pivots allow him to quickly transition from offence to defence and vice-versa.
Samuelsson likes to join the rush as a trailer, looking to add extra offence. However, he is not going to lead the rush very often. At the point, he has a good slap shot, but its not a cannon either. Samuelsson has a knack of getting it on net, even with traffic and facing pressure at the point. He also has a very good wrist shot, and release. Samuelsson loves to sneak in from the point and get off that wrist shot from inside the circles. His snapshot is also powerful and accurate.
Samuelsson is a good passer, especially in starting the transition game. He has good vision and the hockey IQ to make the smart play. At the blue line, he is not much of a quarterback. He makes the safe pass but is not one to make a lot of creative plays or set up teammates from the point.
Samuelsson is a big defenceman, who plays a physical game in his own end of the rink. He throws big hits if an attacker comes down his side of the ice, and also battles hard in the corners and in front of the net. Samuelsson sometimes gets into penalty trouble by being a bit too aggressive though. If he learns to walk the line between being strong physically and taking penalties, he will be an absolute force. He uses a long, and active stick to cut down passing lanes and is not afraid to block shots. Samuelsson is a strong penalty killer. His hockey IQ and anticipation are strong.
Projection and Comparison
Samuelsson has the unique combination of size, physicality and skill that NHL teams covet on their blue line. He may not have the offensive game to be a top power play unit player, but could contribute to a second unit. Samuelsson will need to work on refining his skills, cleaning up his skating, and improving discipline. As he is headed to the NCAA, there is plenty of time for him to improve. Samuelsson’s game is reminiscent of a left-handed Brent Seabrook. This is a stylistic comparison only though, and not one based on potential or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Ylonen that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
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