It’s no secret that the San Jose Sharks are beginning to rely on their younger players to step up and lead the team. Mirco Mueller, a 19 year old defenseman, is taking this and running with it in the hopes to make the team this season.
“When Doug Wilson says he trusts in younger players and he wants to build on our age group, that gives you a lot of motivation and confidence that you really have a shot to make the team,” Mueller said.
Mueller was chosen by the Sharks as the 18th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. He has played in nine games with the AHL, however spent most of last season at the junior level. This could be Mueller’s best chances thus far in his career to begin playing at the professional level, as the Sharks currently only have six defensemen signed to one-way contracts.
To help his chances, Mueller has been working hard to improve his play as well as his physical appearance. So far, he’s added 12 pounds of muscle. “I’ve been working out this summer because I knew that was going to be a big part for me to make the team, to get stronger and bigger,” he said. “Just followed Mike Potenza’s tips and tricks, and the nutrition also.”
Coach Todd McLellan is also noticing the changes Mueller has been making. In addition to stating he is a stronger player, McLellan is aware that Mueller’s comfort level is also increasing. Becoming comfortable around coaches and players is a key to becoming more comfortable on the ice.
Most believe Mueller has what it takes to become a force in the NHL. But the question still remains whether he’ll be in Worcester or San Jose. He has the mindset and the ability to make it, and I believe this is as good a chance as any for him to make an appearance with the San Jose Sharks.