Kjell Samuelsson

Last updated
Kjell Samuelsson
Born (1958-10-18) 18 October 1958 (age 61)
Tingsryd, Sweden
Height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Weight 235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Leksands IF
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins
VEU Feldkirch
Tampa Bay Lightning
National teamFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
NHL Draft 119th overall, 1984
New York Rangers
Playing career 19761999

Kjell William Alf Samuelsson (born 18 October 1958) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey defenseman who played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. He is currently the Flyers Director of Player Development. On December 17, 2018 he was named interim assistant coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL.

Contents

Playing career

Samuelsson was well into his professional career in his native Sweden when he was chosen 119th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. At age 26 he made the move to North America and spent the bulk of his first season with the Rangers organization with their American Hockey League affiliate in New Haven but did manage to get into nine NHL games. The following year he was a full-time NHLer but found himself on the move when New York traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for netminder Bob Froese. With the Flyers, Samuelsson settled in and became a reliable defender and earned a spot on the All-Star team during the 1987-88 season. He won two Barry Ashbee Trophies [1] (awarded to the Flyers top defensemen) before a deal late in the 1991-92 season sent him out of Philadelphia. The trade was a five-player blockbuster that landed him in Pittsburgh just in time to contribute to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. The towering blueliner became an unrestricted free agent following the 1994-95 campaign and signed back with the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent the next three seasons with the Flyers but was only healthy for the first one and when his contract expired, the Flyers opted not to resign him. Samuelsson signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final season of his career then retired following the 1998–99 season. He was the last active NHL player to have been born in the 1950s.[ citation needed ]

Samuelsson played 813 career NHL games, scoring 48 goals and 138 assists for 186 points, as well as compiling 1,225 penalty minutes. Despite his surname and reputation as a physical defenseman, he is not related to former teammate Ulf Samuelsson.

Coaching career

Upon his retirement, Samuelsson started his coaching career as an assistant with the ECHL's Trenton Titans in 1999-2000 before taking a similar role with the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, the following season. He served in that role for six seasons, winning the Calder Cup in 2005. On October 23, 2006, Samuelsson became the head coach of the Phantoms on a day where the Flyers released head coach Ken Hitchcock, promoted Flyers assistant (and former Phantoms head coach) John Stevens to head coach of the Flyers, and brought then-Phantoms coach Craig Berube to the Flyers as an assistant. Samuelsson returned to an assistant's role the following season when Berube returned to the Phantoms' head coaching position, and continued that for six more seasons - including four after the Phantoms relocated to Glens Falls, New York. In 2013, Samuelsson transitioned into a development coach for the Flyers, overseeing the team's drafted prospects at the amateur levels. On December 17, 2018 he was named interim assistant coach of the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms due to Scott Gordon being named interim head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Personal life

Samuelsson is married to Vicki; they have 2 girls and 2 boys. Samuelsson's oldest daughter is Alexandra and youngest daughter is Gabriella. [2] Samuelsson's son Mattias was drafted 32nd overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Both of his sons, Lukas and Mattias, played hockey for Western Michigan University. [3]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season TeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM GPGAPtsPIM
1976–77 Tingsryds AIF SWE II 2212330000
1977–78 Tingsryds AIFSWE II203034141014
1978–79 Tingsryds AIFSWE II2434767
1979–80 Tingsryds AIFSWE II2654945
1980–81 Tingsryds AIFSWE II35671361201114
1981–82 Tingsryds AIFSWE II331114256830222
1982–83 Tingsryds AIFSWE II321161757
1983–84 Leksands IF SEL 36661259
1984–85 Leksands IFSEL35951434
1985–86 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 566212787300010
1985–86 New York Rangers NHL 90001090118
1986–87 New York RangersNHL3026850
1986–87 Philadelphia Flyers NHL46167862604425
1987–88 Philadelphia FlyersNHL7462430184725723
1988–89 Philadelphia FlyersNHL69314171401913424
1989–90 Philadelphia FlyersNHL665172291
1990–91 Philadelphia FlyersNHL789192882
1991–92 Philadelphia FlyersNHL54491376
1991–92 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL20123341503312
1992–93 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL63369106120332
1993–94 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL595813118600026
1994–95 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL41167541101132
1995–96 Philadelphia FlyersNHL7531114811210124
1996–97 Philadelphia FlyersNHL344374750002
1997–98 Philadelphia FlyersNHL490332810000
1998–99 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL4614538
1998–99 VEU Feldkirch AUT 61124
SWE II totals1924037773391213420
SEL totals7115112693
NHL totals81348138186122512342024178

International

YearTeamEvent GPGAPtsPIM
1991 Sweden WC 1022412
1991 Sweden CC 610116
Senior totals1632528

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References

  1. "Kjell Samuelsson 1986-1992, 1995-1998". NHL.com. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  2. Lee, Amber. "Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Teams of the Early '90s: Where Are They Now?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  3. Zeisberger, Mike (23 June 2018). "Clark among 14 NHL sons selected in Draft". NHL.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.