United States National Team Development Program defenseman Mattias Samuelsson pulled his commitment from the Michigan hockey team and announced he will play for Western Michigan last Thursday.
The blue-chip prospect will join his older brother, freshman forward Lukas Samuelsson, on the Broncos’ roster next season. He originally committed to the Wolverines almost three years ago, on Apr. 13, 2015.
Samuelsson, 17, has put up fairly impressive numbers with the USNTDP this season, notching six goals and nine assists in 30 games. The 6-foot-4, 217-pounder is projected to go 13th in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and sixth among draft-eligible defensemen, according to Hockeyprospect.com.
Due to recruiting regulations, Michigan coach Mel Pearson declined to comment.
Though Samuelsson has left for an in-state rival, highly-touted prospect and fellow USNTDP defenseman Bode Wilde is still slated to begin his collegiate career in Ann Arbor next year.
In 34 games this season, the Birmingham, Mich. native ranks third on the USNTDP in assists with 16 and is tied for third with 21 points. Wilde is predicted by Hockeyprospect.com to be the 15th pick in the 2018 Draft.
Despite Samuelsson’s sudden departure, the Wolverines still have a whopping 16 commitments — six blueliners and ten forwards — for the 2018-19 recruiting class, according to College Hockey Inc.