The Sharks went blue line with their first pick in the 2013 Draft on Sunday when they selected Swiss defenseman Mirco “I’m probably going to be called Marco a lot” Mueller with the 18th overall selection.
Here’s the scouting report from NHL Central Scouting:
“There isn’t any situation that he doesn’t play through or play well through. His hockey sense, read and anticipation and the way he reacts to the play, are great … he’s so quick.”
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.
The 6-foot-3, 176-pound, 18 year old, who was the 16th ranked prospect overall according to TSN, played for Everett in the Western Hockey League last season, totaling six goals and 25 assists in 63 games. His favorite TV shows are “Two and a Half Men” and “Germany’s Next Top Model.”
Via Fear the Fin, here’s film on Mueller:
The Sharks were originally slated to select at 20th overall before they (because Doug Wilson got his hands on some hallucinogens?) surrendered a second-round pick (58th overall — acquired in the Douglas Murray trade with the Pens) to the Red Wings to move up only two spots. But Wilson must have had Mueller high on his board. FYI, Columbus and Detroit didn’t select a defenseman with their picks at 19 and 20.
The Sharks were already busy Sunday morning before the draft even began, acquiring forward Tyler Kennedy from the Penguins for the 50th overall pick in Sunday’s draft.
Kennedy, 26, scored six goals to go along with five assists in 46 games last season. He has 76 career goals and 92 assists in six seasons. He is, however, an unrestricted free agent.
Assuming the Sharks are able to re-sign him (as well as T.J. Galiardi — a likely scenario once the Sharks shed salary elsewhere. Jason Demers maybe?), this is a nice pick up for them. The Sharks need offensive help on the bottom six, and rather than using a draft pick to address that with a guy who might not even make the team next season, they do it with a guy who’s NHL ready.
And, hey, he sure as hell beats Cal Clutterbuck.