The San Jose Sharks chose 6-foot-3 inch, 184-pound defenseman Mirco Mueller with the 18th overall selection in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday in Newark, NJ.
Mueller, 18, the ninth-ranked North American skater (third among defensemen) according to NHL Central Scouting, had six goals and 25 assists for 31 points and 57 penalty minutes in 63 games with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips this past season, his first in North America. He is a left-handed shot.
“It’s awesome for me being a part of the Sharks organization. I’m really happy, it’s a great day for me,” said Mueller via conference call.
The Sharks traded up to select Mueller, a native of Switzerland, sending the 20th overall pick and a second round pick (58th overall, previously acquired as part of the trade for Douglas Murray) to the Detroit Red Wings.
It was a steep price to pay to move up just two spots, but Sharks management must have thought that Mueller was not going to be there with the 20th pick. The Columbus Blue Jackets chose 19th overall.
Mueller was asked to describe his game.
“I play a simple game. I think I’m a puck-moving defenseman. I try to make plays from my own end, and just try to get the forwards some time and make them better,” he said.
According to 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."
What does Mueller need to work on?
“I would say to get more physicality in my game, and get nastier around the net and my own end,” he said. “Play hard, and be tough to play against. I’m really working on that.”
He added he’d like to gain weight, something he said he’s already done this summer.
TSN in Canada compared Mueller to current Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Mueller himself said he admires Chicago’s All-Star defenseman, Duncan Keith.
“He’s a really good skater, and that’s a big part of my game, too, is skating. I really look up to him and try to learn from him,” Mueller said.
In the second round, the Sharks chose scoring winger Gabryel Boudreau from Baia-Comeau of the QMJHL. In 67 games, the 5-foot-11, 167-pound Boudreau had 22 goals and 41 assists for 63 points. He was the 52nd-ranked North American skater, according to NHL Central Scouting.
“I’m more of an offensive player,” Boudreau said. “I’m a good shooter, good goal-scorer, good passer, I’m good around the net and I read the play very well. That’s more of my game.”
Boudreau, a Quebec native, said he would like to get “bigger and stronger,” and needs to continue to work on the defensive aspects of the game.
He’s never been to California, but is anxious to visit.
“I’m so happy, and so excited. It’s a crazy day, it’s a wonderful day, and I’m so excited to be a part of the Sharks,” he said.
The Sharks chose Swedish goaltender Patrik Bergvik in the fourth round; American-born defensemen Michael Brodzinski and Gage Ausmus in the fifth round; American center Jacob Jackson in the seventh round; and Russian left wing Emil Galimov in the seventh round. They did not have a pick in the third round or sixth round.