In the Rangers press release announcing the hiring of Ulf Samuelsson as assistant coach, part of Samuelsson’s biography includes “The former NHL defenseman was instrumental in developing the team’s core defensemen, including Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Zbynek Michalek.”
Samuelsson was an associate coach in Phoenix from 2006 to 2011 and saw Yandle start his NHL career and develop into an All-Star who had at least 30 points, 3 times over 40, since 2008-09.
Craig Morgan, at Fox Sports Arizona, writes Samuelsson showed a lot of confidence in Yandle and “oozes pride” when discussing Yandle’s development.
Yandle praised the Phoenix coaching staff for his development, but singled out Samuelsson and the time they have spent together.
Yandle told AZ Central that Samuelsson preached that strong play in the defensive zone will lead to more offensive chances, “if you’re not playing in your own zone, then you’re in the offensive zone….that’s when you get to have fun and score some goals.”