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Devils Trade Picks to San Jose for Defender Mirco Mueller

The Devils sent 2 picks to the Sharks for a 22-year-old, former first-round defender. Quick reaction here.

Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Devils have traded a 2nd and a 4th round pick for Sharks defender Mirco Mueller and a 5th. The picks were the ones we got in trades — the 49th overall that came from Boston in the Stempniak trade, and the 123rd overall we got for Vern Fiddler. The Devils now have 10 draft picks. See CapFriendly for details.

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Who is Mueller?

Mirco Mueller is a 22-year-old defender that was the Sharks 2013 1st round pick, 18th overall. His EliteProspects profile says:

“ Mirco Müller is a smooth skating two-way defenseman with impressive mobility. Has strong puck-moving abilities and combined with decent passing-skills he is capable to push a team’s transition game. He is poised with the puck, but needs to learn to take quicker decisions as he tends to hold on to the puck to long, while all his pass-options closing. Despite his size, he doesn’t use his body to his advantage as you rarely see him hit other players. Reads the play well, plays a smart defensive game in his own end and keeps his actions simple. (by Rafik Soliman, August 2014)”

Mueller came in a high prospect, but has been slow to develop. After 16 minutes per game over 39 contests in his rookie season, he’s seen playing time all but dissappear the last two seasons. Stats below from Hockey Reference:

What Does the Trade Mean?

Well, seeing as it was completed basically at the 3pm deadline before the pre-Expansions Draft trade freeze, it means that this is the only move the Devils will be making in preparation for creating their protection list, and it may effect the format they use to do it.

We discussed earlier this week who the Devils might choose to protect and there was a mix of 7-3-1 and 4-4-1 options. With the addition of Mueller, you’d have to assume he is a protection and that means that we now have at least 3 defenders we are protecting (Severson and Green being the others). So if Shero wants to ensure we keep any of Lovejoy, Merrill, and Moore then he has to go 4-4-1 which means the exposure of all the fringe forwards we discussed in the article.

Quick Reaction

On the positive side, the Devils get a 1st round defensive prospect. If you go to our SBNation colleagues over at Fear The Fin, their reaction was:

“The Sharks do acquire some reasonable picks in the upcoming draft (2nd and 4th), but give up another prospect too early in the development process.”

So we ditched some of the way-too-many picks we had, and we got a top D-prospect that we sorely need. That’s the good.

The bad is that the Devils gave up a 2nd rounder and a 4th rounder for a guy that played 4 games in the NHL. To me, the point of the pre-Vegas move was that we might be able to get a guy for a bargain because it’s either the team trades a guy to us for picks, or gets nothing when they lose him to Vegas. That Shero had to give up this much seems baffling to me. Especially when Buffalo only had to give up a 3rd to get Nathan Beaulieu — a 24-year-old, former first round defender who played 74 games, averaged 19:29 minutes per contest, and scored 28 points.

Your Thoughts

Do you like the trade? Do you think we got fair return for two picks? Is this a checkmark next to the “get a D prospect” box, or is this a waste of two picks and a bad start to the offseason. Leave your thought’s below and vote in the poll.


Do you like the Devils trade for Mirco Mueller?

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