Following one-season in the SHL, 13-year NHL veteran Mikael Samuelsson has decided to hang up his skates.
Samuelsson, 38, was drafted in the fifth round, 145th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 1998 draft, but didn’t really make his mark in the NHL until nearly a decade later when he landed with the Detroit Red Wings. With Detroit, Sameulsson would capture a Stanley Cup in 2007-08 and his performance in the 2005-06 season would help earn him a spot on the Olympic gold medal-winning Swedish squad in 2006.
Before landing in Detroit, Samuelsson skated with the Sharks, Rangers, Penguins and Panthers. By 2001, after playing four games in San Jose, Samuelsson was dealt to New York in a trade that brought Adam Graves the other way. He would play a season and a half in New York before being dealt again to Pittsburgh, and would land in Florida as a free agent the following year.
When he touched down in Detroit, however, he found his game and the Red Wings couldn’t have been more pleased. After inking a one-year deal as an unrestricted free agent, Samuelsson posted 23 goals and 45 points and was rewarded with a three-year extension. He posted two 40-point seasons in the final two years of the deal, but fled for Vancouver when he reached free agency.
As a Canuck, Samuelsson enjoyed the most productive season of his career. In the first season of a three-year, $7.5 million deal, Samuelsson tallied 30 goals and 53 points, both of which remained were his career highs. Two years later, however, the Canucks dealt Samuelsson to Florida, after which his career would hit the rocks.
In 48 games in Florida, he notched 13 goals and 28 points, but was never the same player. After his deal expired, he once again signed with the Red Wings as a free agent, this time on a two-year deal.
The first year of his deal, the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Samuelsson missed all but four games, losing time to a broken finger and injuries to his groin and pectorals. By January 2014, he was placed on waivers and demoted to the AHL. Shortly after being recalled in mid-February, Samuelsson went down with an undisclosed injury and never suited up for another NHL game.
With the SHL's Djurgarden this season, Samuelsson scored 13 goals and 26 points in 37 games. Over a 699-game NHL career, Samuelsson scored 149 goals and 346 points, adding another 23 goals and 60 points in 104 playoff games.