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USHL: Black Hawks Trade Samuels-Thomas to Sabres

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Wherever he has played as an amateur, forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas has put the puck in the net, and the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres want that trend to continue after making a deal to acquire the former Waterloo Black Hawk on Wednesday.

Buffalo traded for the 24-year-old Samuels-Thomas, sending a conditional 2015 draft pick to the Winnipeg Jets.  The Jets organization – then the Atlanta Thrashers – drafted the South Windsor, Connecticut, native in 2009 following his final season in Waterloo.  He was selected during the seventh round with the 203rd overall pick.

During the 2008/09 campaign, Samuels-Thomas led the Black Hawks with 32 goals, on a roster from which four players (Craig Smith, J.T. Brown, Eriah Hayes, and Patrick Wey) have already appeared in the NHL.  Samuels-Thomas’ goal total tied for third-best in the USHL during 2008/09, and he added 22 assists for 54 points in 59 games.  One year prior, he scored eight goals with three assists in 56 contests as a Hawks rookie.

As a college player, Samuels-Thomas was the leading scorer for two different NCAA Division I programs.  While skating as a freshman and sophomore, he led Bowling Green in both goals and points, accumulating 20 goals and 26 assists in two years with the Falcons.  After being sidelined for a season following his transfer to Quinnipiac University, Samuels-Thomas paced the Bobcats with 17 goals as a junior in 2012/13, helping the squad reach the National Championship game.  Completing his eligibility last winter, he accumulated another 29 points in 34 college games.

The Sabres now have the opportunity to sign Samuels-Thomas to his first professional contract.  If a deal is reached, Samuels-Thomas will join Brett Olson, Vince LoVerde, and Nick Ebert among the group of former Black Hawks agreeing to their first NHL contracts since the conclusion of the 2013/14 regular season.

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