With the 27th pick of the first round, the Coyotes selected Henrik Samuelsson, son of Ulf. Not only does he know the Coyotes organization and his way around Scottsdale, he can make the drive to Jobing.com in Glendale without a map. Furthermore, the Coyotes know him. He grew up playing travel hockey in the valley with the DYHA Firebirds, then P.F. Changs U18 AAA as a 14 and 15 year old (P.F. Changs was folded into the Jr. Coyotes program). He was playing with boys 4 years older than he was at a time when most are hitting their growth spurt. They’ve had their spurt, he is about to enter his. That tells you about his hockey sense and skills.
Practicing with his father Ulf and older brother Philip (2nd round pick of Pittsburgh two years ago) made him a lock to make the USA’s Hockey National Team Development Program. This meant moving from Scottsdale to the NTDP in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a 17 year old. It also meant he got a chance to play against other 17 year olds. Playing for Team USA in the U17 World Hockey Challenge, he had 10 points.
From NDTP, Henrik went to play in the Swedish League team Modo Jr. After scoring 4 goals and 5 assists in 16 games, Henrik made the leap to the senior level and skated in 15 games, recording 2 assists. Henrik relocated back to North America to play in the WHL with the Edmonton Oil King. In 28 games, he scored 7 goals and 16 assists to go along with 48 minutes in the sin bin. Henrik was named a tournament all-star in the 2012 Memorial Cup, thanks to leading the team in scoring (2G, 3A).
Up next for Henrik is the Coyotes Development Camp. Camp is open to the public at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, skating starts Tuesday with the other draft choices from this and previous years such as Brandon Gormley and Mark Visentin. There is no off season for Henrik as he will travel to the USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid August 4-11.