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‘Yotes Notes: Slowed by Injury, Samuelsson Sent to AHL

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE – First-round draft pick Henrik Samuelsson showed improvement in his strength and his skating at this year’s training camp, but not enough to make the Opening Night roster.

Samuelsson, who was drafted 27th overall in 2012, and four other players, including his brother Philip, were trimmed from the camp roster on Wednesday.

“We’re into some real hard decisions,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “…I would’ve liked to have seen Henrik in another game or two, but he had an injury. I think Henrik’s a guy who’ll go down (to the American Hockey League) and he’ll start to put up some numbers and push for a job up here.”

Samuelsson was slowed during camp because of muscle tightness, Tippett said. That prevented him from separating himself from other young forwards vying for roster spots.

“Henrik’s got to go down and continue to work on his game,” Tippett said. “He’s played (just) one year pro. He’s got to continue to build his game.”

The other players cut were defensemen Derek Smith and Corey Potter, and forward Jordan Szwarz. Like the Samuelssons, Smith and Szwarz were assigned to the AHL. Potter was released from his pro tryout.

► The Coyotes have 26 players left in camp: 16 forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies. Management must trim three more players by Tuesday; a goalie and two forwards likely will be sent to the AHL on Saturday after the preseason finale vs. San Jose at Gila River Arena on Friday night.

► Tippett continues to rave about under-the-radar forward Jordan Martinook. “He’s a good player,” Tippett said. “He’s paid his dues. He knows how to play a good, strong pro game and he’s found a role … He’s been one of our best forwards in all of camp.”

► Forwards Anthony Duclair and Brad Richardson practiced on Wednesday after missing the past two games because of minor injuries. Meanwhile, goalie Mike Smith did not practice on Wednesday but will likely practice on Thursday.

► Friday’s preseason game vs. San Jose can be heard on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

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