The San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils completed a trade Saturday prior to the 3 pm trade freeze. The deal involves Sharks defence prospect Mirco Mueller and several draft picks. The Sharks sent Mueller as well as a 2017 fifth round (No. 143) draft pick to the Devils in exchange for a 2017 second round pick (No. 49) and a fourth round pick (No. 123).
Sharks send Mirco Mueller and a 2017 5th round pick to New Jersey for second and fourth round picks in 2017 draft
San Jose Sharks Trade Mirco Mueller to the New Jersey Devils
Mueller, standing at 6’3″, 210 pounds, was the 18th overall pick by the Sharks in the 2013 NHL Draft. Since that time, he has been considered one of the Sharks top prospects.
The 22-year-old defenseman however began to fall off, appearing in only 54 games in three seasons with San Jose. In the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Sharks’ farm team- the San Jose Barracuda, Mueller played mediocre. He often struggled in a top pair position, often falling down to the bottom four. In three seasons and 62 total games with the Barracuda (also formerly the Worcester Sharks), Mueller posted just two goals and 12 assists. Muller played 54 games at the NHL level, only scoring twice and adding four assists. His first 39 NHL games, and four points came when Mueller was a rookie in 2014-15. He has never again hit the strong defensive play of that rookie season.
In return, the Sharks received two very well needed draft picks. Before this trade, the club only had a single pick in the first four rounds of the 2017 draft. Now with the addition of these two picks, San Jose’ total number comes to eight for the draft, which is to be held next Friday, June 23rd.
“We want to thank Mirco for his years of service to the San Jose Sharks and the San Jose Barracuda organizations,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement to The Mercury News. “This will be an excellent opportunity for Mirco to continue his development and with our organization’s depth on the blue-line, an opportunity for us to acquire assets for the future. We wish him the best.”
The Devils now hold ten picks in the upcoming draft, including the first overall pick, and now have a decision to make with Mueller. Muller, who has only three seasons of professional experience, is not protected in the upcoming expansion draft. New Jersey now has to decide if they will opt to protect or expose the young defenseman come Sunday, when each teams’ list is revealed. Also let it be known that Mueller will be a restricted free agent (RFA) this summer, so if the Devils decide to do indeed protect him, expect contract negotiations to commence.