Tips defenseman Mirco Mueller is one step closer to the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships as he was one of 27 players who were invited to attend Switzerland’s selection camp. The 18-year-old Mueller is scheduled to depart Dec. 13 for the camp, which will determine who plays for the Swiss at World Juniors, which take place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden.
Mueller’s invite was a foregone conclusion, as he played for Switzerland last year and was one of the team’s best players as a 17-year-old. The real news is that he’s leaving on the 13th, meaning he’ll miss Everett’s final four games of the first half.
Presuming Mueller makes the team, he’ll miss at least five more games at the start of the second half. Those are the crucial ones because those will also be missed by 16-year-old defensemen Kevin Davis and Noah Juulsen, who will be playing for Team Pacific at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Nova Scotia. Therefore, the Tips will be without three of their top-six defensmen for crucial games against Seattle, Victoria and Spokane. Everett is carrying eight defensemen, meaning that even with the two spares, the Tips will be one short during that stretch following Christmas. I would think Everett will call someone up to fill in. Seventeen-year-old Lucas Skrumeda and 16-year-old Jordan Wharrie, who are both signed and were (I think) designated as affiliated players, would likely be the top candidates for a call-up.