Western Michigan Broncos Mattias Samuelsson has signed his entry-level deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Bad news for the Western Michigan Broncos, as one of their top players won’t be returning for his junior year. Mattias Samuelsson has agreed to terms with the Buffalo Sabres on a three-year entry-level contract. Sabres GM Jason Botterill explained his excitement:

"We are very pleased with Mattias’ growth both at Western Michigan and on the international stage. He possesses a unique combination of size, speed and skill, and we look forward to working with him on his next steps as a pro."

The 20-year-old defenseman was selected 32nd overall in 2018 and is the son of Kjell Samuelsson, who played nearly 1,000 games as an NHL defenseman and is now a development coach with the Philadelphia Flyers.

While his father stood at a towering 6-foot-7, Mattias Samuelsson hits the ice with plenty of his own size. At 6-foot-4 220-lbs you may expect a bruising, plodding player, but Samuelsson is anything but. The left-handed defenseman has the speed and puck skills to play at the next level, even if his best attributes are still on the defensive side. In 30 games for Western Michigan this season, he scored 14 points, but was a finalist for the NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the Year award.

There is likely still some development to be done with Samuelsson, but the Sabres will take over direct control of his path now that he’s under contract. Even if that means he starts in the AHL, you can bet that his name will be on the back of an NHL sweater before long.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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Can you name the player with the most career points for every NHL franchise?

An asterisk (*) indicates the player never played for the franchise in its current location.

ANA / 988 / RW
Teemu Selanne
ARZ / 972 / RW
Shane Doan
BOS / 1,506 / D
Ray Bourque
BUF / 1,326 / C
Gilbert Perreault
CAR / 1,175 / C
Ron Francis
CGY / 1,095 / RW
Jarome Iginla
CHI / 1,467 / C
Stan Mikita
CBJ / 547 / LW
Rick Nash
COL / 1,641 / C
Joe Sakic
DAL / 1,359 / C
Mike Modano
DET / 1,809 / RW
Gordie Howe
EDM / 1,669 / C
Wayne Gretzky
FLA / 419 / C
Olli Jokinen
LA / 1,307 / C
Marcel Dionne
MIN / 688 / C
Mikko Koivu
MTL / 1,246 / RW
Guy Lafleur
NSH / 566 / C
David Legwand
NJ / 1,025 / LW
Patrik Elias
NYI / 1,353 / C
Bryan Trottier
NYR / 1,021 / RW
Rod Gilbert
OTT / 1,108 / RW
Daniel Alfredsson
PHI / 1,210 / C
Bobby Clarke
PIT / 1,723 / C
Mario Lemieux
SJ / 1,082 / C
Patrick Marleau
STL / 1,073 / C
Bernie Federko
TB / 953 / RW
Martin St. Louis
TOR / 987 / C
Mats Sundin
VAN / 1,070 / C
Henrik Sedin
VGK / 134 / C
William Karlsson
WAS / 1,211 / LW
Alexander Ovechkin
WPG* / 615 / LW
Ilya Kovalchuk

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