That’s good news for defenseman Mirco Mueller, who represents the team’s future, but also hopes to be a contributor next 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 told NHL.com.
Mueller, who was taken with the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, only has nine games worth of AHL experience after spending most of the 2013-14 campaign at the junior level. However, there’s a spot open for the 19-year-old as the Sharks only have six defensemen signed to one-way contracts.
In order to better his chances of securing that opening, Mueller has been bulking up over the summer and now boasts a 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. Sharks coach Todd McLellan took note of that during the team’s development camp.
“He’s obviously physically more mature,” McLellan said. “He’s put some weight on; he’s put some muscle on his body. His presence is greater now than it was last year. He obviously feels a little more comfortable around the coaches and his teammates.”
Mueller is a two-way defenseman and models himself after Duncan Keith. He had 27 points in 60 WHL contests in 2013-14 and another two assists during his AHL stint.