Rabid Habs

Victor Mete Will Benefit From World Junior Play

Your Montreal Canadiens have elected to have 19-year-old defenceman Victor Mete play in the upcoming World Junior Championships.

The 2016 4th round, 100th overall pick has impressed through the first part of the season. His smooth skating and ability to join the rush were the main reasons he was paired with Shea Weber on the Habs 1st defensive pairing in the early going. However, as of late Mete’s started to lose steam and Claude Julien has reduced his ice time considerably, with Mete taking most of his shifts on the third pairing. Victor Mete started off the season by playing an average of 19:33, but his time has dipped considerably since then down to 14:52.

Minimal minutes and healthy scratches at the NHL level won’t help him develop his game the way playing in the World Junior Championships will.

Take, for example, St. Louis Blues defender Alex Pietrangelo. In his 9-game trial with St. Louis in 2009, Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist before being sent down to the Barrie Colts of the OHL. Pietrangelo flourished in the 2010 World Junior Championships, being Canada’s go-to guy for shutting down the opponents top offensive weapons while also providing offence. He accumulated 3 goals and 9 assists in 12 games in the tournament.

I’m not comparing Victor Mete’s potential to a player like Alex Pietrangelo, however, Pietrangelo clearly benefitted from playing in the WJC in terms of the development of his game.

Mete will likely be Canada’s number 1 defenceman for the tournament, playing significant minutes and tasked with shutting down the opponent’s top offensive weapons, while also being the go-to guy to supply some offence from the back end.

Meanwhile, the hole Mete’s absence would have created in the early part of the season has been filled with the return of David Schlemko and the emergence of Jakub Jerabek on the Habs blue line. Schlemko’s puck-moving abilities have stabilized the Habs defensive corps and Jerabek has also been solid since getting the call up from the Laval Rocket.

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One Comment

  1. cbhabsfan

    December 17, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    OK. So a roster than has defence corps that also includes Jake Bean, Conor Timmons, Cal Foote, Cale Makar, Dante Fabbro and Cale Klague will have Victor Mete as its “number 1 defenceman for the tournament?”
    Sorry. I’m as rabid a Mete supporter as the next Habs fan, but I really don’t see him filling that role in this tournament.
    As much as I’d love to see it play out that way, of course.. .