The New Jersey Devils have added a young defenseman to their organization, acquiring Mirco Mueller from the San Jose Sharks.
The Devils also picked up the Sharks’ fifth-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, in exchange for New Jersey’s second-round pick and fourth-round pick this year.
Mueller, who just turned 22 years old in March, was selected 18th overall by the Sharks in the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s played in 54 games for the Sharks, splitting his professional career so far between the NHL club and their minor league affiliate.
His play in the minors this past season had given the Sharks reason for optimism, with coach Pete DeBoer speaking highly of the prospect blue liner when he was recalled earlier in the year.
“All the reports out of the American League team were that that he’s been excellent,” said DeBoer in December. “I think he’s really taken a step maturity-wise as a player and as a kid this year. Everybody’s saying that he looks like he’s ready for full-time NHL duty. … He’s a guy that belongs up here.”
But, as a young and developing defenseman, gaining the trust of the coach through consistent stretches of play was also something DeBoer stressed upon Mueller as he went up and down between the NHL and AHL.
He’s also a pending restricted free agent, at the end of his entry-level deal.
Mueller becomes another former San Jose first-round pick to be traded. The Sharks also dealt Nikolay Goldobin to Vancouver prior to the trade deadline.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for Mirco to continue his development and with our organization’s depth on the blueline, an opportunity for us to acquire assets for the future,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson.