Check-In: Matthew Samoskevich
Playing in the 2021 Biosteel All-American Game has been an honor for American-born draft-eligible prospects since its inception in 2012.
Center Mackie Samoskevich was selected to represent Team White, a USHL all-star team, along with four of his teammates from the Chicago Steel (Matthew Coronato, Josh Doan, and Ryan Ufko), collecting one assist in a 7-1 loss to Team Blue, comprised of members of the National Team Development Program.
“The biggest thing is meeting new kids,” Samoskevich said when asked about what it means to be playing in the All-American game. “It’s been a fun couple of days here meeting new people.”
The Steel are one of the top teams in the USHL and have several players putting up lofty point totals. Samoskevich has certainly benefited from having such high-end talent around him this season and is included in those players putting up big numbers.
“It’s been a huge thing for us, we push ourselves hard in practice, and I think that’s part of the reason why we’re having so much success,” Samoskevich said on the internal competition within the Steel from the high quality of players in the lineup. “It’s definitely great to have them push us and me push them. It’s been great for our development.”
Committed to play on a very strong University of Michigan team in the NCAA next season, Samoskevich has matched his goal total from last season with Chicago in 13 fewer games. Samoskevich is now up to 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) in 34 games for the Steel.
His point totals are no surprise, as he’s a magician with the puck. His puck handling abilities are up at the top of this class, frequently finding a way to get around defenders in very tight situations.
“Samoskevich was dangerous off the rush, using his skating and puckhandling to get by opposing players and generate chances,” FCHockey scout Austin Broad wrote about the Steel forward in the All-American Game. “Every time he was on the ice, the puck gravitated to his stick and it felt like he was going to make something happen on every shift. Even when the game was out of reach Samoskevich’s effort and approach to the game never wavered…
“With his ability to create offense in transition, his willingness to attack the prime scoring locations and his continuous effort in a one-sided game show why he’s considered an early-round candidate for the upcoming NHL Draft.”
The forward’s father played hockey growing up and was a big influence on him picking up the sport at a young age. Samoskevich also has two sisters, including his older twin by five minutes, Madison, who have played the game growing up. His older sister Melissa spent four years at Quinnipiac University, two as the captain, has represented Team USA in the World Championship and is signed with the NWHL’s Connecticut Whale. Madison just wrapped up her first season at Quinnipiac as well.
“(It’s a) unique situation. My older sister grew up playing boy’s hockey, just seeing how she went about her days was a huge positive experience for me,” Samoskevich said. “They’re my best friends. Having them around is a huge thing for me and learning from them and just seeing how they go about their business and how they live their lives is a positive for me.”
An NHL Draft-eligible player’s draft year is crucial to where they get selected, which means it’s very important for those players to develop year over year.
Samoskevich is no different.
“My speed and strength over that extended summer was huge for my development,” he said. “Being able to put work in at the gym for an extended time, I was able to put on a little weight and gain some speed so it was a huge thing for me.”
Samoskevich, No. 33 in FCHockey’s Winter ranking, with his strong performance in the USHL and the All-American Game is a strong candidate to hear his name called on the first day of the 2021 draft on July 23.