Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Mackie Samoskevich Scouting Report.
The Chicago Steel had an outstanding season. Led by Sean Farrell, Matthew Coronato, Josh Doan, Erik Middendorf, and Ryan Ufko, the Steel had a very talented roster. They dominated the USHL and won the Clark Cup. One prospect who flew under the radar on the squad was Mackie Samoskevich (sometimes listed as Matthew Samoskevich). Playing mainly a middle-six role, and serving as an alternate captain, Samoskevich put up 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points in 36 regular-season games. He also added one goal and nine assists for 10 points in the eight playoff games during the Steel’s run to the Championship.
Samoskevich played prep school hockey at the famous Shattuck-St. Mary’s program. He was drafted in the fourth round, 63rd overall, in the 2018 USHL Futures Draft. However, Samoskevich didn’t see significant USHL playing time until 2019. In 2019-20 Samoskevich scored 13 goals and 34 points in 41 games with the Steel. He also scored one goal in four games for Team USA at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. Samoskevich committed to join the University of Michigan for the 2021-22 season. His sister, Melissa Samoskevich, is a top young player in the NWHL.
Mackie Samoskevich Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Right
Born November 15th, 2002 — Newtown, Connecticut
Height 5’11” — Weight 189 lbs [180 cm/86 kg]
Samoskevich is an excellent skater. He has a very good first step and outstanding stride. His powerful stride helps him to generate very good acceleration and excellent top-end speed. He wins races to loose pucks. Samoskevich’s ability to change speeds is also a weapon that helps him beat defenders. He is dangerous on the rush. Once he gets past a defender, he can cut to the net. Samoskevich also has excellent edgework and agility. His ability to change directions also helps him to avoid defenders both with and without the puck. Samoskevich will need to get stronger as he moves up to higher levels of hockey. Added core strength will improve his balance and make him stronger on the puck. Samoskevich does fine against his age group in battles on the boards and in front of the net but the college and pro levels will be tougher.
Samoskevich marries his skating ability with excellent stickhandling. He carries the puck through the neutral zone and generates effective zone entries. He also has very good vision and passing skills. This helps Samoskevich to be a playmaker, both on the rush as well as working in the offensive zone. He anticipates where his teammates and opponents will be and can set them up for good scoring chances. Samoskevich can slow down the play and control the puck along the boards. This gives his teammates the opportunity to get open and when they do, he can find them with a creative pass through a tight passing lane. Samoskevich also does a good job of using his lateral mobility and quick hands to make subtle moves and open those passing lanes.
Samoskevich can also score goals as he has a decent release on his wrist and snapshots. However, he could stand to add more power to his shot. This means that his scoring is mainly limited to shots that come inside the faceoff circles. This may improve as Samoskevich matures and adds muscle to his frame. Samoskevich is willing to take the puck into the dirty areas of the ice and gets to the front of the net without it. He gets in quickly on the forecheck and forces defenders into turnovers and mistakes. Samoskevich is not the most physical player but is still effective at bringing pressure with good angles and his speed.
Samoskevich works hard in the defensive end. He is willing to provide backpressure against the rush and support the defence down low. His lack of size and strength can be a bit of a limiting factor though. He can be pushed around by bigger, more physical forwards in the cycle game. Samoskevich is smart positionally and uses a good stick to poke check opponents or cut off passing lanes. When a turnover is created, Samoskevich is quick to move the puck up the ice and create offensive opportunities. He can skate it out of the zone himself or make a good first pass to start the transition game.
Projection and Comparison
Samoskevich can be a top-six forward if he can continue to develop and reach his ceiling. Due to his lack of size and strength, he may need to convert to wing at some point. For now, though he will try to remain at centre. Samoskevich is a long-term project as he needs at least a year or two in college before moving up to pro hockey. With the shorter schedule in the NCAA he will get plenty of time to work in the weight room and try to pack some muscle onto his frame. Samoskevich’s game is reminiscent of Johnny Gaudreau, however this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Mackie Samoskevich that are available on youtube and twitter.
Beautiful goal by Mackie Samoskevich @ChicagoSteel (#24) last night!🚨
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) March 27, 2021
Mackie Samoskevich @ChicagoSteel (#24) is a dynamic offensive threat who creates high danger chances consistently.
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) March 30, 2021
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) March 28, 2021
Matthew “Mackie” Samoskevich is another 2021 Draft Eligible player playing in the @USHL for the @ChicagoSteel. Mackie has great hands, amazing vision in the offensive zone and solid speed. Samoskevich is currently ranked 28th on our 02’ born skaters list. pic.twitter.com/rIoQ6tSjYZ
— Puck Preps (@PuckPreps) December 6, 2020
Mackie Samoskevich had a slick one-timer goal against the NTDP U18 squad on March 6th.
Mackie sees Huard pass the puck to the right half-wall and immediately finds an open lane in medium danger.
— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) March 11, 2021
Come back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft article.
Mackie Samoskevich Scouting Report Main Photo:
Congrats to ENEH student Mackie Samoskevich on announcing his commitment to play college hockey for the University of Michigan! pic.twitter.com/HkVLVnW8QV
— Erik Nates Hockey (@ENhockey) August 2, 2018