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Jesse Geleynse | jgeleynse@heraldnet.com
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 2:20 p.m.

Mueller, Lotz and the U-18s

The U-18 World Championship began today in Sochi, Russia. Everett has two players taking part. Defenseman Mirco Mueller is playing for Switzerland, while goaltender Austin Lotz is suiting up for Canada.

Canada won its opener today, beating Slovakia 4-1. Lotz did not play in this one. Switzerland's opener is tomorrow against the same Slovakia team.

There's a couple good sites for following the tournament. The IIHF website will provide all the nuts and bolts for the tournament as a whole. Hockey Canada's website will provide all you need to know about Team Canada.

In addition to national pride, this could be a big tournament for both Mueller and Lotz when it comes to the upcoming NHL draft. Both became draft eligible this year. Mueller is already considered as possible first rounder, and he's already played well at World Juniors, so I'm not sure how much he can raise his stock playing at the U-18 level. But he could hurt it if he doesn't play well. Lotz has been on the rise because of his performances during the second half of the season and the playoffs, but obviously he can't raise his stock sitting on the bench. So Lotz needs to get into games to help himself. But if he does and if he plays well, his stock could skyrocket.

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