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SAN JOSE – Sharks first round draft pick Mirco Mueller is on his way to AHL Worcester, general manager Doug Wilson confirmed on Monday.
Mueller, who turned 19 on March 21, was chosen with the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. His WHL season in Everett, Washington recently concluded. In 60 games, he had five goals and 22 assists for 27 points and 31 penalty minutes, and added one goal and one assist in five playoff games.
“We’re very pleased with his progress so far,” Wilson said. “Getting him into Worcester is a great opportunity to continue that growth.”
“He’s had a good year, and a very good second half, in particular. … He’s getting bigger and stronger. We’ll get him here this summer for the development camp, and he’s right on the path.”
Worcester has nine games remaining in its season, and Wilson confirmed Mueller would get some playing time. The AHL Sharks, 10th place in the Eastern Conference, are a longshot to make the postseason, seven points from the final spot.
Wilson, who has watched many of Mueller’s games on video, was asked what he likes about the six-foot-four, 184-pound defenseman’s game.
“He’s a world class skater. His hockey sense. He’s very mature in how he plays the game. It fits how the game is being played in this league right now. Very high expectations for him,” Wilson said.
Wilson didn’t want to speculate as to whether Mueller could be a part of the team’s “taxi squad” for the playoffs, saying those decisions will be made at a later date. Mueller is not eligible to begin next season in Worcester, but scouting director Tim Burke recently told The Hockey News that there’s a “50-50 chance” Mueller could make the Sharks’ 2014-15 roster. That publication also named Mueller as the 17th best NHL prospect.
Mueller signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Sharks on Sept. 22, 2013.