Sabres add to blueline, draft Mattias Samuelsson 32nd overall

Buffalo Sabres
Mattias Samuelsson_1529768053080.jpg.jpg

After taking Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin No. 1 overall Friday night to open the NHL Draft in Dallas, the Buffalo Sabres continued to address the blueline, selecting defenseman Mattias Samuelson 32nd overall with the first pick of the second round.

Samuelsson, who played for the USA National Development team in the USHL, stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs in a 218 pounds and is already considered a bruiser.

“He utilizes his size (6-foot-3, 217 pounds) as a strength,” director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said to in February.

Marr continued, “defensively he stands out. He understands the role. He plays within his means. He moves well for his size, he doesn’t over-handle the puck. He does know how to utilize his size asset and he does know how to utilize it within the rules. He doesn’t go out of his way to run guys, hit guys. His 1-on-1 game, he makes sure he handles his checks. On the defensive side of the puck he’s responsible with it.”

There is some offensive ability with the 18-year-old left shot D, as his offensive totals nearly doubled over the last year jumping from 6-10-16 two season ago, to 11-20-31 this past year with the USA National Development team.

When he heard his name called and knew he was coming to Buffalo, Samuelsson could hardly contain his excitement.

“I’m literally shaking,” said the defenseman. “I am so happy. Buffalo is a world class organization. Just to be a part of that, spending time the last couple of days with my family here over the last few days it’s been an unbelievable experience.”

When it comes to his new teammate, #1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin, Samuelsson reflected on the time he’d spent with him at the scouting combine earlier this spring.

“He seems like a great kid,” said the defenseman about Dahlin.”obviously, he’s a hell of a hockey player so I’m really excited to be with him a little bit.”

The 32nd overall pick also commented on how he looks to grow and progress with the other young blue-liners. 

“Rasmus is pretty much a generational player, and proaly the organizations go to guy on the blue line for years to come. Just being in the same draft year as him and being able to come up with him, it;s going to be pretty special just to watch his growth. 

Playing in the NHL runs in the family for the defenseman.  His father, Kjell, played for more than a decade in the league and is currently a member of the Flyers player development staff.  His uncle, Ulf, spent 17 years playing in the NHL as well. Samuelsson said he learned a lot about the game from his father.

“He taught me to stick up for myself and how to use my body to my advantage. Not to back down, not to be afraid to play your star game and to play to my advantage.”

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