Mattias Samuelsson – Defense
Weight: 218 lbs.
Current Team: United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP)
Stats (U.S. U-18 National Team): 58 GP, 11 Goals, 20 Assists, 31 Points, 113 Penalty Minutes.
Stats (USHL) 23 GP, 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 Points, 64 Penalty Minutes, +16
Scouts Say: This is a defenceman who excels on the defensive side of the puck while not being your one-dimensional stay at home defender. His is able to not only use his size to separate players from the puck but also is excellent using his stick to defend. He has good gap control and is one of the hardest defenders in the draft to beat one-on-one. Samuelsson does have some skills on the offensive side of the puck as well.
He won’t be confused with a powerplay quarterback but has enough vision and hockey IQ to be a positive force in the offensive zone with good passing and shooting. This is a player where scouts love the intangibles as he is said to be a solid locker room presence. He is the captain of the National Development program team after all and shows a great deal of poise on the ice. The concerns with his game are his skating, more so in his acceleration than at top speed. In today’s NHL his skating will need improvement if he is to play higher than a bottom pair role on a team. He is committed to Western Michigan University in the NCAA.
As a player, Sameulsson checks off a lot of boxes that are common among San Jose Sharks draft picks. High character, size, USNDTP, and a good toolset. His skating needs work but this is a place the Sharks feel teach by the time they make their NHL debut. This is also the type of player that the Sharks have been burned by in draft picks past. There is a lot to like about this player but at 21 there should be simply better defenceman on the board when the Sharks step up to the podium.