GLENDALE – The trade that sent Philip Samuelsson to the Coyotes from the Pittsburgh Penguins a few days ago featured an interesting twist – a reunion of two brothers.
|Philip Samuelsson |
“It’s pretty special to be able to spend time together with him,” said Philip who, like younger brother Henrik, is now playing for the Portland Pirates, Arizona’s top affiliate in the American Hockey League. “We’ve been playing in different parts of the country for a while so to be reunited with him and for us to be able to see each other every day is awesome.”
Philip is a 23-year-old defenseman. Henrik is a 20-year-old forward. Both lived and played hockey in Arizona as their dad, Ulf, worked as a coach for the Coyotes and both were high NHL draft picks – Philip 61st overall by Pittsburgh in 2009 and Henrik 27th overall by the Coyotes in 2012.
Philip reported to Portland last Friday – the day of the trade – and was inserted into the starting lineup the next night when the Pirates played at Albany. Henrik also was in the starting lineup that night and the brothers stood next to each other on Portland’s blue line as the national anthem was played.
|Henrik Samuelsson |
“That was a surreal moment,” Philip said. “I had to pinch myself. I guess the next step for us is to stand next to each other on the same blue line playing in the NHL.”
Regarding that prospect, the brothers have a friendly wager on the table: The first one to make it to the Coyotes wins dinner from the other after he gets called up, too.
Like his kid brother, Philip – whose next AHL game will be the 200th on his resume – hopes they both get to play at Gila River Arena sooner rather than later.
“I feel I’m pretty close to being NHL ready,” he said. “The AHL is a good league and I feel I’ve developed well during my time here. Hopefully I can come into this organization, work hard and get an opportunity to play with the big club.”