Victor Mete knows the writing might be on the wall for him. The 19-year-old defenceman, who was drafted 100th overall in 2016 by the Montreal Canadiens, shocked the hockey world by graduating to the NHL this season. He started off as Shea Weber’s defence partner and has since appeared in all but one of the team’s 24 games, flashing his speed and smarts on a nightly basis. But as his ice-time has dwindled over the past month, the idea of him sticking with Montreal and not going back to major junior has become more and more far-fetched. And now that David Schlemko appears poised to make his Canadiens debut on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, it seems like a foregone conclusion Mete will return to the OHL’s London Knights in short order. It’s a possibility the kid desperately wants to avoid, but also one he’s facing with total positivity. “My goal at the beginning was to make a pre-season game, so I accomplished that,” Mete said Saturday morning. “After that it was to make the team, and I also accomplished that. And what I’ve learned from when I started to now is really good. It’s stuff I can take back with me to junior. I now know what I need to focus on for my summer training. Having the experience of playing in the NHL for a bit, I can kinda see what I need to work on and improve that much more. If I do get sent back, then next season I’ll be more prepared. “It’s all positive.” There’s no question about it. And Mete also acknowledged that he understands from the team’s position that the upside of the decision to send him down to junior soon might be too strong for them to ignore.
Victor Mete doing what he can to stick with Canadiens
Sportsnet | Nov 26