After a string of forwards in the sixties, we turn our attention to the USNTDP with defenceman Adam Samuelsson checking in as the 60th ranked prospect in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
A big defensive defenceman who can move the puck, the son of former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson, Adam is intriguing with decent underlying numbers and a success rate among his comparable players.
He may have a low ceiling as an NHL player but there is a good chance that he will be an NHL player and will be one for a long time.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.24/ June 21, 2000
- Birthplace: San Diego, CA, USA
- Frame:6-foot-5/ 240 lbs
- Position: Defence
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: USNTDP Juniors(USHL)
- T1EHL U16 Champion
- YOG Gold Medal
- U18 WJC Silver Medal
Samuelsson was selected in the 5th round by the Sudbury Wolves in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection but opted to head to the USNDTP program.
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The point totals and numbers are based on his 26 games playing in USHL competition and exclude his action vs NCAA teams, other teams and international tournaments. The USNTDP posted some really good underlying numbers against the USHL teams with Samuelsson having a GFRE:% of -4.6% despite posting a GF% of 63.4%. Samuelsson didn’t post crazy point totals, as that wasn’t his role, but did his damage mostly at 5v5 player with 7 of his 12 points coming at even strength.
Samuelsson is committed to Boston College for the 2018-19 season and likely slides into a bottom four role for the Eagles.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
A. Samuelsson saw a wide variety of playing time in the games against USHL competition. It’s resulted in a wide variety of data and outcomes that don’t really point to a trend. In terms of GF%, Samuelsson was a bit of a drag on his teammates in terms of WOWY but not drastically (with the exception of Janicke).
Given his size, the sample size for his cohorts is smaller with only 22 matches but that success rate is really encouraging with 44% of comparable players going onto becoming NHL regulars. With that in mind though, the group isn’t the most offensive group and leans more towards big defensive defenceman who can help move the puck. Which is exactly the game Samuelsson plays and thus that high success rate is something to keep in mind as getting a player where they consensus public rankings have him (~100) is something of value. We are higher on him because we feel that he does have more offensive chops to his game than some of those other guys.
Just off the top – targetting someone like Adam Samuelsson is targetting a hard-nosed defender who uses his size and strength effectively in the defensive zone.
He is a ‘safe’ pick in the sense that his floor is easily attainable with some minor development and thus will be attractive for teams that are looking to ensure they extract a player from the draft.
The flip side is targetting high ceiling players with skill that may have more risk and thus can be difficult to assess. Some teams prefer that avenue and it has shown to pay off but also have a risk.
Generally, I target skill, speed, and hockey IQ over anything else but can understand why teams are attracted to a player like Samuelsson.
With that out of the way – Samuelsson is big, (at 6’5″) strong (at 240 lbs) and is willing to use those attributes to make it difficult for his opponents in front of the net and along the boards.
His skating is average at best with a sloppy stride but he does have strength in his legs that make him tolerable in that sense. He will need to improve it to handle attackers with speed.
The San Diego native makes a good first pass to get the puck out of the zone but lacks creativity with the puck in all three zones. Although he isn’t creative with the puck, he reads and anticipates the play well and thus his skating issues aren’t generally the reason for a chance against.
As expected with his size, he has a heavy shot that he can hammer when given time and space.
His 44.0% success rate among cohorts is really encouraging but he does have that lower ceiling of being a third pairing guy who could play a second pair role with an offensive partner.
The draft strategy was mentioned off the top and is important to remember – he may not be a player that I would target in the first parts of the second round but would be a good value bet in the 3rd round where success rates continue to fall.
His skating needs to be improved but he makes smart plays and has decent puck skills to make those little and simple plays.
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The six-foot-three native of Rye, New York has good mobility for a player of his size and age. He has an above average initial pivot and has an adequate stride. His reach will certainly stick out to observers as will his active stick. He does a good job keeping opposing forwards to the outside and using his reach to pokecheck. He’s solid on gap control and was just consistently very solid at this summer’s USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp in Amherst, NY.
CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings