GLENDALE – Coyotes prospect Henrik Samuelsson notched a goal and an assist on Tuesday night for the Edmonton Oil Kings in a double overtime game played at the 2014 Memorial Cup.
Val-d’Or won, 4-3, but Edmonton, which is 1-1-1 at this annual four-team tournament in London, Ontario, still is alive and next plays Friday.
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“We’ve been playing pretty well throughout the tournament, we just haven't been able to close out the games,” said Samuelsson, who led the Oil Kings in scoring with 95 points (35 goals, 60 assists) in 65 regular-season games. “But we’ve fought through adversity all year so I’m not too worried about where we are at right now as a team.”
Edmonton reached the Memorial Cup by beating Portland, on the road, in Game 7 of the Western Hockey League Championship Series.
Samuelsson, a Scottsdale native whom the Coyotes selected with the 27th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has notched two goals and one assist in his first three Memorial Cup games. This is his second appearance at the Memorial Cup; in 2012, he notched two goals and three assists in four games and was named to the tournament’s All-Star team.
“I feel I’ve played pretty well throughout the tournament,” Samuelsson said. “I’ve had some ups and downs but that's all part of the game. I’m just happy we won that one game against London to give us the chance to possibly advance to the championship game.”
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Edmonton defeated London, 5-2, on Sunday. The game pitted Samuelsson against Max Domi, whom the Coyotes selected with the 12th overall pick in last year’s NHL Draft. Samuelsson and Domi shared a room at the Coyotes’ Prospect Development Camp last summer and became pals there.
“It’s always fun playing against people you know and people you are friends with,” Samuelsson said. “Max is a super talented young player and it was pretty neat seeing how much he has improved through this season.”
London played Guelph on Wednesday night and lost 7-2. The loss eliminated London from the tournament, leaving Edmonton to play Val-d’Or again on Friday for a berth in the championship game vs. Guelph on Sunday.
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney is at the Memorial Cup this week and has liked what he has seen from Samuelsson.
"Henrik has played well to date," Maloney said. "He has made as many plays with the puck as any player on Edmonton’s roster using his big body, strong hands and hockey smarts. Even though he has played center most of this season for the Oil Kings, we see him as a pro winger where he can use his size and bulk to his advantage. He will need to quicken his pace and tempo as he advances into his pro career but he is certainly a good player in this tournament."