Mueller, who starred for Everett from 2005-07, was once the golden boy of USA Hockey. The playmaking forward was the rare player who played a year ahead for the U.S. National Team Development Program, and he played for the U.S. at the World Junior Hockey Championships both years he was in Everett (as a 17- and 18-year-old). However, his professional career has been riddled with injuries, and he hasn't represented the U.S. since playing at the World Championships in 2008.
Mueller took a different path this season, choosing to head to Europe instead of remain in the NHL. He landed with the Kloten Flyers in the Swiss top division, leading Kloten in scoring with 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 49 games.
The U.S. generally uses the World Championships as a chance to get a look at younger players or fringe players, given that many of the stars are still active in the NHL playoffs. Therefore, Mueller is the third-oldest among the initial squad, despite being just 26. Regardless, this is Mueller's chance to get back in the picture with the national team.
One other notable on the initial roster is defenseman Seth Jones, a former Silvertips first-round bantam draft pick who compelled Everett to trade his rights to Portland.
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