The San Jose Sharks dipped into the Swiss hockey pool in selecting left-handed defenseman Mirco Mueller with the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. Mueller brought his European pedigree to Canada and currently plays for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.
San Jose dealt this year’s first and second rounders to the Detroit Red Wings to move up and take the 18-year-old blueliner. At 6-1, XX pounds, Mueller impressed Central Scout enough to place him ninth overall in their 2013 prospect rankings. Mueller lasted the longest on the VO2 Max test at the NHL Combine.
Mueller possesses the skill set and refinement to contribute within the next couple years in the NHL. However, a year of beefing up and honing his game at a lower level would be beneficial. Hockey Prospectus ranks him as only the 26th prospect of the 2013 class, but still slots him as a top talent.
“Mueller had a quality season in his draft year after coming to the WHL from Switzerland. He took on more responsibility for the Silvertips in light of Columbus draftee Ryan Murray‘s significant injury. He was also impressive as a 17-year-old defenseman at the World Juniors. The most impressive aspect of his game is his hockey sense. He is a top-end thinker with and without the puck. He slows down the game on breakouts, making good decisions with the puck.
“He also makes a lot of defensive stops due to his good positioning and reads. He displays above-average mobility, both closing gaps well and rushing the puck up ice with solid speed. Mueller has fine size, with a sense of quality physicality about his game. He has only average overall puck skills, and he projects as a second unit power play defenseman. He will deliver very good value to his team from his work in his own zone.”