In the regular season, Demitra. He definitely appears to be riding a hot streak right now.
If we make the playoffs, Samuelsson. The guy's a proven winner in big game play and while Demitra can still tack up some points, he does disappear a bit in the physicality of the NHL playoffs. I think that he'll still be a key cog, though.
I feel bad for which ever one gets stuck on the 3rd line. Glass/Bernier are such anchors down there. I feel like Wellwood plays as well as the worst player on his line. So if Demo or Sammy goes there Wellwood still plays like Tanner. But if Grabner comes back and some type of shuffle happens with that 3rd line having 2 talented types to play with Welly then MAYBE just MAYBE some points might happen.
Samuelsson is still getting first unit PP minutes with the Sedins plus he always gets the shift with the Sedins after Burrows is out killing penalties. It's quite a good way to keep a skilled play happy when he's playing on the third line.
What happens next season, when one of our younger players would be better suited in that role at less cost?
Since when is a (likely) 25 goal 50 point guy a 3rd liner? Right now Samuelsson is 77th among forwards in points and 28th in goals. Given that there are 90 guys playing on a 1st line at any given time, that's unquestionably low end 1st line/higher end 2nd line production.
Alex Burrows has 3 PPG in roughly 86 minutes of PP action this season. Throwing out the games where he did not receive any PP action, he has averaged 1:21 of PP TOI/GM.
Samuelsson has 6 PPG in roughly 185 minutes of PP action, so he's producing at a slightly slower pace than Burrows.
That being said, the difference is relatively negligent.
I'd rather have Burrows' wheels saved for the PK, where he is miles better than Samuelsson.
That doesn't take into account the fact that the PP has been more successful with Samuelsson on it as a whole. If you just want to look at production, Samuelsson has 12 points on the PP. Burrows has 4. Sammy just seems to work better with the Sedins on that unit.