Mikael Samuelsson was born in Mariefred, Sweden, and spent his early career playing for Södertälje SK of the Swedish Elite League, the Frölunda Hockey Club in Sweden, and Brynäs IF of the Swedish Elite League. Samuelsson put up modest numbers on those teams and was drafted in the 5th round, 145th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the AHL in 2000-2001 and exploded offensively, netting 78 points in just 66 games including 32 goals and 46 points. Samuelsson was called up to play with the Sharks in 2000-2001, played in four games and did not register a single point. He made his way down to the Hartford Wolf Pack for eight games and he signed with the New York Rangers the following season. He spent two seasons with the Rangers and was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2002-2003 season. Samuelsson played in Europe and Russia during the lockout season. In September of 2005, Samuelsson signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings. He recorded career NHL highs in games played, goals, assists, and points in his first year with the Wings and signed a three-year deal after that season. Samuelsson has good size and is a quality two way player. He needs to play with more grit in order to put up better numbers, but he should be a solid player in the league for years to come.