Victor Mete had quite a rise to the NHL level. As a fourth-round pick in 2016, he spent just one more year in the Junior ranks, making the Montreal Canadiens’ roster to start the 2017-18 season.
August 28, 2018: 2018 Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25: #4 Victor Mete
The debut was a good one, moving him up from the #12 spot he had claimed in our 2017 Top 25 Under 25 before his rookie season began. A strong year, with significant time alongside Shea Weber on the top pairing, placed him in the top five.
November 15, 2018: Finding the elusive first NHL goal for Victor Mete
Defensively he was fairly sound, and his transition game was obvious to see, but his offensive game was virtually nonexistent, with just seven assists in the 49 games he played in his rookie year, and three of them six weeks into the 2018-19 campaign.
Without an NHL-calibre shot, he would need to find alternate methods of generating his offence. We looked at a few options he could try to finally claim his first inscribed puck.
November 29, 2018: Montreal Canadiens send Victor Mete to the Laval Rocket
As November wound down, that goal hadn’t come. He was playing in a third-line role, and having difficulty on defence as well. With Shea Weber’s return to action and a few other players getting healthy, the staff made the decision to send Mete to the Laval Rocket to play his first games in the AHL, given a chance to work on his overall game against lesser competition.
December 2, 2018: ‘I want to play’: Victor Mete looks to recharge with Rocket
Mete wasn’t upset by the move, seeing it as a chance to improve with plenty of playing time, something that had been dwindling at the NHL level.
December 17, 2018: Canadiens recall Victor Mete, reassign Noah Juulsen to the Laval Rocket
After seven games in the minors, and a first professional goal, he was on his way back to the top level.
February 6, 2019: Victor Mete again showed his effectiveness on Tuesday night
The temporary assignment in Laval clearly worked as intended, as Mete returned a more involved player, soon taking up the spot beside Weber on the top pair once again. In February, as the team was looking to challenge for an Atlantic Division seed, he was one of the players performing well to get them into that position.
There weren’t many positives on the California road trip in March. In fact, it may have been the defining sequence of a season that came to an end with the team just outside of a playoff position. But it started off with a victory over the Los Angeles Kings, and once again it was Mete who was a standout player.
July 9, 2019: Analyzing Victor Mete’s role as a top-pairing defenceman
No matter how many moves the team has made to alter the defence pairings, Mete and Weber seem to gravitate to one another. The strengths of one match up nearly perfectly with the weaknesses of the other. The talk is often about how Weber needs a top-tier player to play with him and that should be the main focus in free agency, but Mete and Weber had very good numbers together in 2018-19.
July 11, 2019: Investigating the ideal left side for the Canadiens’ defence
Unlike in his first year, Mete is not the sole option to take that role beside the captain. Brett Kulak displayed top-four ability last season, and has similar qualities to Mete to slot on to the top pair when needed. Having interchangeable pieces on defence is a great situation for the coaching staff, and one that will allow for just minor tweaks rather than major shake-ups to address any future issues.
July 12, 2019: Victor Mete’s offensive game is about more than goals
With a consistent game at the NHL level now that he has two seasons under his belt, perhaps now Mete can focus on increasing his offensive totals. He’s shown plenty of ability to blow past defenders and get into open areas, and it should just be a matter of time — and confidence — before those plays finish in goals more regularly.
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