Saturday, June 17, 2017

Devils trade with Sharks-acquire Mirco Mueller

The New Jersey Devils were expected to have a chance to add a player through a trade before the expansion draft for the new Las Vegas Golden Knights,but as the deadline neared,the Devils looked to be possibly skipping on the opportunity.

However,in the final hour before the roster freeze,Devils general manager Ray Shero swung a deal with the San Jose Sharks to acquire defenseman Mirco Mueller and hopefully add a solid player to a defensive corps that could use one.
Shero sent the Sharks a second rounder (Boston's originally from the Lee Stempaniak trade) and a fourth rounder (Nashville's from the Vernon Fiddler deal) in return for Mueller and a fifth round pick.

The 22 year old Mueller was a first round pick in the 2013 draft (18th) and has spent most of the last two seasons in the AHL with the Sharks farm team in San Jose (the Sharks AHL team also plays in San Jose).
Mueller played 39 games for the Sharks in 2014-15,but in the combined two seasons since has seen action in only 15 games combined for the teal and black.
Mueller scored one goal with one assist last season in a four game mini appearance with the Sharks.
The Swiss product is a sizable blueliner at 6'3 and 205 pounds and EliteProspects liked him going into the draft as a skater and puck mover,although it did wonder about his physicality.
The issue with Mueller seems to be this-Why such much time away from the big league club?
Was it that the Sharks (who have a pretty good defensive group) just didn't want to use a young player at the seventh defenseman slot (which sits much of the time) or was there something about Mueller's play that had moved him out of the plans for the Sharks?
That I cannot answer,but considering the age of Mueller,I'm ok with this-mainly because the Devils didn't trade for Mueller in order to not protect him in next week's expansion draft and it shoves a player off the protected list that would have been protected without the trade-most likely Ben Lovejoy or Jon Merrill,either of which I would trade for an autographed photo of Kirk Muller.

It'll be interesting to see if this tips the Devils hand on the first overall pick six days from now.
The two players that the Devils are considering are both centers in Canadian Nolan Patrick and Switzerland's Nico Hischier and I plan on a post comparing the two of them one day next week,but considering even minor points,could this trade for a countryman mean the Devils are leaning Hischier or is it strictly a hockey trade and just a coincidence?

Back later tonight with thoughts on the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev...

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