Boise, ID (9/7/17) – Steelheads Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham announced on Thursday that the team has agreed to terms with 2012 first-round NHL draft pick Henrik Samuelsson on an ECHL contract for the 2017-18 season. The forward is preparing for his fourth professional season, and first in the ECHL.
Samuelsson, 23, has played three professional seasons, spending the 2016-17 campaign in the American Hockey League with the Tucson Roadrunners and Bakersfield Condors. He was taken 27th overall by the Arizona Coyotes and played three NHL games for the Coyotes during the 2014-15 season.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native recorded two goals and three points in 25 AHL games last season with Tucson and Bakersfield. In 136 career AHL games- five with Bakersfield and 131 in the Coyotes system in Tucson, Springfield, and Portland- Samuelsson has totaled 23 goals, 55 points, and 106 penalty minutes.
“Henrik is an excellent player, with game-changing ability and skill set,” said Graham. “He is very driven and motivated this off-season and I expect him to be a very productive player this year.”
The 6-foot-3 winger enjoyed his best professional season with AHL Portland in 2014-15, notching 18 goals and 40 points in 68 games to rank 16th in rookie scoring. Samuelsson also recorded two goals and five points in five playoff games that year.
“He uses his size and skill well to create offense, but also brings a hard-nosed element to his game,” said Graham.
Samuelsson will be reuniting with two former teammates, who are also new Steelheads additions, in forward Mitch Moroz and defenseman Cody Corbett. The trio played together in junior hockey in the Western Hockey League, playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings for three seasons from 2011 to 2014. Samuelsson won WHL Championships with the Oil Kings in 2012 and 2014, as well as the 2014 Memorial Cup.
“Henrik has a history of elevating his play during big games and is extremely competitive,” said Graham.
In addition to team awards, Samuelsson was named to the Memorial Cup All-Star Teams in 2012 and in 2014, and he was the leading scorer in the 2014 Memorial Cup tournament. Samuelsson recorded 75 goals and 198 points in 162 WHL games between 2011 and 2014, and he also played for Modo of the second-tier Swedish professional league HockeyAllsvenskan at the start of the 2011-12 season.
Samuelsson is the ninth forward announced by the Steelheads this off-season.