Coyotes Associate Coach Ulf Samuelsson, a 17-year NHL veteran who also represented his native Sweden multiple times in international tournaments, has two sons rising up the ranks of USA Hockey.
|Ulf Samuelsson |
Philip Samuelsson, a defenseman, recently was named to Team USA’s camp roster for the 2011 IIHF World U-20 Championship in Buffalo
, which begins Dec. 26. Philip, who also competed in the 2009 IIHF World U-18 Championship and won the gold medal with Team USA, currently is a sophomore at Boston College. As a freshman, Philip helped the Eagles win the 2010 NCAA Championship.
Ulf said Philip’s selection to Team USA's roster for the elite tournament in Buffalo is a testament to the hard work the Boston College coaching staff has invested in Philip, and the hard work that Philip has invested in himself.
“They’ve done a tremendous job with Philip, and Philip has done a tremendous job putting in the workload that he has,” Ulf Samuelsson said. “… It’s been a fun ride for him at B.C.”
Ulf said he has enjoyed watching Philip, whom Pittsburgh selected with the 61st overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, improve his game.
|Philip Samuelsson. Photo by Nancie Battaglia, USA Hockey. |
“Skating, and his ability to read and react to the game at that level, I think those would be the two biggest areas of improvement for him, and I think confidence comes along with that,” Ulf said. “It’s gone well for him.”
Henrik Samuelsson, a forward, is currently playing for the U.S. National Development Program Under-17 team based in Ann Arbor, Mich. It’s a rigorous program that not only stresses hockey, but academics, too.
“He’s having a great time,” Ulf said. “It’s obviously very hard to get up at 6:30 a.m., go to school, then go to practice for about three, four hours; and it’s a really hard practice. Then he goes home, does a couple hours of homework, and then goes to bed. It’s a tough program, but he really enjoys it and they do a tremendous job up there.”
|Henrik Samuelsson. Photo by Tom Sorensen, USA Hockey. |
And while the game of hockey has been good to the Samuelsson boys, they put much work in throughout the year to be able to reap those rewards.
Philip and Henrik recently spoke to Arizona Rubber
magazine about how challenging each other under the tutelage of their father has been beneficial to each other.
“I think it works great for both of us,” Philip said. “For me, it gives me someone who has all this skill to go against and, for him, I’m someone who’s pesky and trying to disrupt all his rhythm.”
Henrik told Arizona Rubber
that his brother and dad are great teachers.
“I’m just trying to soak everything in with my brother and my dad,” Henrik said. “I’m trying to learn everything from my dad that I can. I look up to them a lot.”
Ulf Samuelsson's two youngest children, Victoria and Adam, also are hockey players.
“Hockey has been great to our family,” Ulf says.