The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed forward to an American Hockey League contract, and assigned him to their ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays.
FROM BEARS PRESS RELEASE (here)
Samuels-Thomas, 28, has 195 games of AHL experience, most recently skating with the San Diego Gulls in the previous two seasons. He posted a career-best 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 56 games with the Gulls in the 2016-17 campaign. In his AHL career with Rochester, Ontario, and San Diego, Samuels-Thomas has scored 56 points (28 goals, 28 assists) and 151 penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound forward has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 17 games with Medvescak Zagreb of the Austrian Hockey League (EBEL) this year. Prior to turning pro, the West Hartford, Connecticut native played two years of NCAA action at Quinnipiac University from 2012-14. With the Bobcats, he posted 29 points in back-to-back years, and played under the direction of former Hershey Bears and current Washington Capitals assistant coach Reid Cashman.
During his time at Quinnipiac, Samuels-Thomas scored 30 goals and assisted on 28 more for 58 points in 77 career games with the Bobcats. Samuels-Thomas started his collegiate career at Bowling Green State before transferring to Quinnipiac prior to the start of his junior year in 2011-12. After sitting out a season, Samuels-Thomas suited up for the Bobcats in 2012-13, helping Quinnipiac to its first NCAA Frozen Four in program history, and an appearance in the 2013 NCAA National Championship Game. In a 4-1 win against St. Cloud State in the NCAA Frozen Four, Samuels-Thomas led the Bobcats with the game’s first goal before setting up Ben Arnt for the game-winner as the Bobcats advanced to the National Championship Game. He finished his collegiate career with 104 points on the strength of 50 goals and 54 assists in 148 career games
Samuels-Thomas was originally a seventh round selection of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2009 NHL Draft. He has also appeared in 10 career ECHL games, collecting eight points.