EVERETT - Everett Silvertips defenseman Mirco Mueller has been named to Team Switzerland for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, which begin later this month in Ufa, Russia. Mueller departs the Silvertips on Monday to join his Swiss teammates for pre-tournament training camps in Lenzerheide and Wetzikon, Switzerland.
Mueller, 17, is one of only two 1995-born players on Switzerland's training camp roster, which includes five skaters from the Canadian Hockey League among the 29 players named. The Swiss will depart for Ufa on December 19 and play an exhibition game against Team Russia before opening the tournament against Latvia on Thursday, December 27. Their other Group A opponents will include the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia and defending Champion Sweden. Depending on how far Switzerland advances, Mueller could miss as many as eight games with the Silvertips before the World Juniors conclude on Saturday, January 5.
"I'm very excited for the whole experience," said Mueller. "Of course it's a huge honor to be selected as an under-ager. I'm looking forward to playing against the best players in junior hockey, especially the Canadians, Americans, Swedes and the other top nations. It's in a new country that I've never been to before and I'm excited to see what it's like over there."
Everett's first-round selection (11th overall) in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, Mueller has immediately stepped into a primary role on the Silvertips' defense corps. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder is tied for 8th among all WHL rookies in scoring with 16 points (2g/14a) this season. Hailing from Winterthur in northern Switzerland, Mueller has also posted a +3 plus/minus rating (third best on the 'Tips roster) and 27 penalty minutes while appearing in all 32 of Everett's games so far this year.
The Silvertips are back on home ice for two more rivalry games this weekend at Comcast Arena. The Seattle Thunderbirds make their second appearance of the year in Everett Friday night at 7:35 on our fourth annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night. Saturday at 7:05 pm, the 'Tips take on the Vancouver Giants on the first of three Silvertips Scout Nights this year.