The Phoenix Coyotes have drafted Henrik Samuelsson 27th overall in Friday's NHL Draft. Henrik is the son of former NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson and grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Date of birth: February 7, 1994
Ht: 6'2 Wt: 192
Ulf was an assistant for the Coyotes for five years before taking a head coaching job overseas in the Swedish Elite League.
"We had two players left on our list, and fortunately for us Henrik was there for us," Coyotes GM Don Maloney said after the pick.
Samuelsson is a big, strong winger who is capable of putting the puck in the net. He does not shy away from contact, and has a mean streak on the ice that some compare to his fathers. Samuelsson's has a unique mix of size and skill, and will be a perfect fit for the 'Yotes.
While the mean streak may be something that adds to Samuelsson's value, it may also be a downfall. Samuelsson has got mixed reviews for his gritty play. In his time with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL he was suspended four time for a low hit, a crosscheck to the face, kneeing and charging.
"That's something I need to work on, not stepping over the edge too much and not taking as many penalties," Samuelsson said in an interview Thursday. "I've gotten better at it as the season went along."
Another aspect that Samuelsson will have to improve upon is his skating.
Craig Button of TSN describes Samuelsson saying, His skating is not a hindrance but he needs to improve his quickness and speed because. By doing so, it will allow him to impact the game more significantly. He's a smart player who makes good plays and has confidence with the puck. He finds openings in the offensive zone to score but with an improved shot, his goal scoring will increase."
With the Oil Kings Samuelsson posted 7 goals, 16 assist and 23 penalty minutes in only 28 games.
He was equally impressive in the playoffs, totaling 14 points in 17 games.
The Coyotes draft 28th tomorrow with the 58th overall pick.