The Habs shuffled the deck defensively on Tuesday, making a minor league swap with Carolina to bring in blueliner Keegan Lowe. Going the other way is defenceman Philip Samuelsson.
Lowe was a third round pick of the Hurricanes (73rd overall) back in 2011. He’s in his fourth professional season and has played just two games at the NHL level, both in 2014-15. This season, he has played in 49 games in the minors, picking up three goals and nine assists along with 53 penalty minutes. He’s two points away from matching his career high set last season. If the last name sounds familiar, he is the son of long-time NHL defenseman Kevin Lowe.
As for Samuelsson, he was brought in last offseason to supplement Montreal’s defensive depth while giving them a somewhat capable call-up if injuries arise. Unfortunately for him, he got on Sylvain Lefebvre’s doghouse in the preseason and never really got out as he has been primarily a third pairing defender or a healthy scratch. He played in 40 games with the IceCaps, picking up a goal and four assists.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Samuelsson wound up being dealt to Carolina. His father, long-time NHL blueliner Ulf Samuelsson, is in his first season as head coach of their AHL affiliate in Charlotte.
It’s likely that Lowe will fill what Samuelsson’s role was, a depth blueliner that probably won’t be back next season. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of year and carries a cap hit of $750,000 at the NHL level.