The Maple Leafs announced on Wednesday afternoon that they had come to terms on a two year entry-level contract with 22 year old free agent forward Marcel Mueller. Mueller is a 6’4 212 lb power forward who has spent the past 4 seasons playing against men in the top German league. He had a terrific ’09-’10 breakout campaign that saw him record 56 points in 53 games played, good for 13th overall in league scoring.
Although it has Mueller has been rumored to be a target of NHL teams for a couple of seasons now, the recent transfer agreement reached by the DEL and NHL in late June has allowed Marcel to be officially pursued by NHL clubs.
He is described as a powerful, two-way winger who excels along the boards and in front of the net as he uses his large frame and long reach to shield the puck very effectively.Â He’s a good skater with intriguing offensive upside and an excellent shot that should translate into goal scoring ability at the NHL level.
Mueller is a physical player who forechecks very well, loves to hit, and has the ability to win consistently win pucks in the corners. He certainly doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff, finishing with a team high 122 PIM’s, good for 6th highest in the entire DEL. He’s a reliable defensive player who even spent some time on the blueline for the injury-ravaged Cologne Sharks this past season.
Most recently, Mueller impressed on the international stage with strong showings for the German national team at the Olympics and at the World Hockey Championships, where he displayed strong puck cycling ability and willingness to drive to the net.
Mueller’s age, size, polished skillset and years of experience against high level competition should place him in a position to play in the NHL relatively quickly, perhaps even earning a couple games next season.