The Edmonton Oilers made a trade today, adding a name that we discussed at length back in 2012 leading up to the draft. In what is clearly an unusual deal, the Oilers traded 2012 second-round selection Mitchell Moroz for the man they hoped would fall to them—power forward Henrik Samuelsson. I ranked him No. 23 on draft day:
- R Henrik Samuelsson NHLE 6-14-20. PF and a player whose draft stock rose through the spring as he helped power the Oil Kings to the Memorial Cup. Size/skill combination makes him a terrific prospect, and he’s right in the wheelhouse for a team like Edmonton. He might be a perfect fit. Source
Not surprised that Samuelsson or Moroz got moved. Oilers wanted Samuelsson in the draft in '12. Little shocked they get dealt for each other
— Corey Graham (@CoreyGraham) February 1, 2017
Samuelsson has had an unusual pro career, derailed by injuries (concussion, ankle) after his junior career. If we compare the two men at the AHL level, Samuelsson is clearly the better offensive prospect.
- Henrik Samuelsson 2014-15 (20) 68gp, 18-22-40 (NHLE: 23)
- Henrik Samuelsson 2015-16 (21) 43gp, 3-9-12 (NHLE: 11)
- Henrik Samuelsson 2016-17 (22) 20gp, 2-1-3 (NHLE: 6)
Year one looked good, the last Oilers F prospect to have an NHLE of 23 at age 20 was Teemu Hartikainen, and the Finn’s 20-year old season is a really good comparable for Samuelsson at the same age.
- Mitchell Moroz 2014-15 (20) 66gp, 5-4-9 (NHLE: 5)
- Mitchell Moroz 2015-16 (21) 40gp, 5-5-10 (NHLE: 10)
- Mitchell Moroz 2016-17 (22) 17gp, 1-2-3 (NHLE: 7)
As was the case with the Oil Kings, Samuelsson and Moroz were never going to apply for the same job in pro hockey. Samuelsson has (had) more offensive ability, while Moroz has (had) utility as a checking winger although we have not seen evidence he brought it with him to pro hockey.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This trade is a Billy Preston. Now, it may be a different story two years from now, but at this point giving each of these young men a fresh start is likely the strongest reason to make the deal. I think the Oilers got the better player, but have no real idea about his health and that could be the major story in his resume. His issues this year have not be disclosed (that I have seen), so this is a mystery train as it leaves the station. Samuelsson last played January 28 and AHL Stats suggests he is playing a little over 11 minutes a night. He has played center and wing in his career. I believe he is only the second man to play for the Oilers after being born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Bob Beers). Both men involved in the deal are RFAs after the season, one suspects their performances will impact the possibility of a new deal with each new club.