If nothing else, Mirco Mueller looks like an NHL player at this point. The 6-foot-3 defenseman was listed at 175 pounds when he reported for training camp in 2013, but he’s up to 205 now, per CSN Bay Area.
That’s including 10-to-12 pounds added since the end of the 2013-14 campaign, but the question is if that extra muscle will be enough to push him over the edge in the battle for a roster spot. The 19-year-old defenseman hasn’t made his NHL debut yet and only has nine games worth of AHL experience.
“You can obviously improve everywhere, but I think if there’s one part, it’s the toughness around the net and in the corners,” Mueller said. “I think I kind of started to improve that with getting stronger. That helps a lot. Kind of being meaner around the slot, and just trying to play harder.”
Further motivating him is the fact that there is an opening for him if he proves worthy of it as the Sharks are going into training camp with just six blueliners signed to one-way contracts.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson spoke of San Jose turning into a “tomorrow team” after its latest disappointing playoff run, but the roster didn’t undergo a major turnover. Instead, the Sharks will be looking for the young players that were already within their organization to play larger roles and the Sharks need Mueller, who was taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, to be a significant part of that.