WORCESTER, Mass. – With thirty days until the 2019-20 season officially begins, the Worcester Railers announced the signing of former NHL first-round draft pick Henrik Samuelsson on Thursday.
Samuelsson was selected as the 27th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and later played three games for the team that drafted him, the Phoenix Coyotes, during the 2014-15 season. He spent the majority of that season with the Portland Pirates, accumulating 40 points in 68 games. Samuelsson posted three goals and three assists against the Worcester Sharks in what was their final season.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound forward spent the following season with the Springfield Falcons, before heading west to play for the Tucson Roadrunners and the Bakersfield Condors for 2016-17, where he scored three points in 25 games.
Samuelsson bounced back in 2017-18, initially signing with the Idaho Steelheads, where he posted 43 points (16G+27A) in 49 games before signing a PTO with the Rockford IceHogs. Late in the season, he earned a full AHL contract and a deal for 2018-19. Samuelsson led Idaho in points in their playoff run with eight points in 11 games.
C.C. Hawkley, The Sin Bin’s ECHL editor who covered the Steelheads last season, reflected on Henrik’s time in Idaho:
Henrik is an ECHL top-line guy with a great scoring touch. He came back to Idaho in February of last season after being a healthy scratch for a month in AHL Rockford, making an immediate impact for the Steelheads with four goals in his first six games back.
Having played 273 regular-season games between the AHL and ECHL, Samuelsson is considered a veteran by the ECHL collective bargaining agreement, and would be the Railers’ fifth veteran (with the presumption that captain Mike Cornell will once again be sent down from Bridgeport to begin the season). Worcester will need to find a new home for one of their newly signed vets unless they have other plans other than playing in the upcoming season.
Stay up-to-date on all of the ECHL player signings around the league with our 2019 ECHL Transactions page!