San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson repeatedly has talked this offseason about his plan to rebuild the team around its younger players.

Mirco Mueller, a 19-year-old defenseman from Switzerland, heard Wilson's message loud and clear.

"When Doug Wilson says he trusts in younger players and he wants to build on our age group, that gives you a lot of motivation and confidence that you really have a shot to make the team," Mueller said during Sharks development camp this month.

Among all of San Jose's prospects, Mueller could have the best chance to break through and make the team out of training camp.

The Sharks traded veteran defensemen Dan Boyle and Brad Stuart. Although Brent Burns is returning to defense after spending last season as a forward, and veteran Scott Hannan re-signed, there are spots to be won on defense, and Wilson has said Mueller is among the top young candidates.

The Sharks chose Mueller with the 18th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, moving up two spots in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. The move cost the Sharks their first-round pick and a second-round choice, which shows how much they valued Mueller.