Prospect: Philip Samuelsson
However, the Penguins faith in him was proved true when he jumped right in and was a large part of the 2010 National Championship team at Boston College. Samuelsson was one of the top defenseman on the team and as a result was one of the top freshman defenseman in the country.
Samuelsson will forever draw comparisons to his famous father Ulf Samuelsson, especially in Pittsburgh, but the two players are not that similar.
Samuelsson is a defensive defenseman who uses his positioning and skating to shut down the opposition as opposed to his father who used his hitting and his elbows.
He just signed a 3 year entry level contract with the Penguins after his sophomore season at Boston College. He will likely begin the season with Wilkes-Barre next season.
The fact that he is a left handed shot in a (strangely) right handed defensive core could let him see more playing time faster than expected.
+ Stick skills (blocking shots, intercepting passes)
— Offensive instincts
— Breakout pass
Samuelsson is a big defenseman that is very good down low in his defensive zone. He is good at winning the puck battles on the boards and is very effective clogging shooting/passing lanes with his stick and body. Workhorse can play any and all minutes but is not very effective on the PP.
Offense: Has a decent shot from the point but will not jump into the play very often nor will he compromise his defensive positioning for a scoring chance. Passing could use some work as he tends to force things. Does not have the best hands.
Defense: Samuelsson is positionally sound and physical along the boards. He uses his stick very well to tip passes, poke check opponents, and disrupt plays. Good shot blocker – he is adept at getting in the way of the offense. Very rarely caught out of position in the offensive zone or neutral zone.
Physicality: Physical player in the corner and along the boards but is not the intimidating player that his father was. Strong young player still has a lot of room to grow stronger. May develop a mean streak in the pros where fighting and pugilism is more tolerated.
What Others are Saying About Samuelsson
A very green, but reliable defensive-defensemen who is still developing.
He gets himself into a good position, which makes him a big presence down low. Very conscious in his own end. Does a good job of getting stick in passing lanes and forcing turnovers, especially with a poke check. Should take the play to the opposition instead of waiting. Average skater who needs work to on improving his overall footwork, strength, and stride. Also needs to become more efficient moving the puck out of his own zone. Has a tendency to try and force the puck up ice. Generally stays glued on the back end in the offensive zone. Developing a hard shot from the back end. Needs to get quicker with his hands in all areas. Sees time on special teams.
- Former Head Coach with Chicago of the USHL Steven R. Poapst NHL Entry Draft Profile:
Phil seems to find himself in the right position at all times. He has a very active and good stick that allows him to break up a lot of plays defensively and wins most of his one on one battles for the puck.
He is a player that is poised and confident with puck while under pressure and can make the right decision in most of those situations. A lot of people will question his skating but he is so good at owning his space by making sure he is in the right position with a good stick it does not become a factor.
Phil has been very consistent this season and has improved greatly in the USHL. He is a leader on this team and comes ready to compete everyday. He has a lot of upside and will continue to grow as a player.
- NHL.com article on Samuelsson pre-draft:
One Eastern Conference Scout: “I think he’s got a lot of his dad in him. He’s a hard-nosed guy, plays that physical game. Skating probably needs to come a little bit. He’s a big kid, he’s competitive.”
Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards: “Phil’s a real big guy. He tries to play a physical game and he’s used a lot on the No. 1 power play and No. 1 penalty kill units in Chicago (United States Hockey League). His puck skill and decision-making are something he’s got to improve on, (but) he’s got a real good shot, shoots the puck well.”
- Ulf Samuelsson on his son’s game from the Post-Gazette:
“He’s a modernized version,” Ulf Samuelsson said, smiling. “He can play without getting tossed [out of games] too much.”
Video of Samuelsson in action
Interview after the draft:
Samuelsson’s first of his 2 goals against UMass: