Assuming Joel Edmundson signs with the Montreal Canadiens after Habs GM Marc Bergevin traded for him on Saturday, it’s getting more difficult to see a place on the roster moving forward for Victor Mete.
Some of the questions being asked are, what do you do with an undersized but speedy defenseman who, to date, has produced very little offence? The stats suggest he’s got a ton of potential, but the actual production doesn’t support it. So, the answer is likely going to be… ‘Move him.’
The Canadiens traded for Edmundson when they moved a fifth-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s logical to assume they did so to get him inked to a new deal. And, if that happens, it leaves the Canadiens with, Edmundson, Ben Chiarot, Alexander Romanov, Brett Kulak , and Mete all on the left side.
Meanwhile, Mete was already being passed by a number of the current d-corps on the Canadiens roster. He was relegated to the third pairing on the right side during the playoffs, and his natural spot was given to career AHLer Xavier Ouellet. Needless to say, things weren’t looking up for Mete, even if Edmundson’s negotiating rights hadn’t been acquired.
So, does this mean the Canadiens could shop him? At the very least, they’ll likely see what’s out there if they make him available.
Will Mete Find a New Home?
A 22-year old RFA, Mete does have some upside. He’s one of the better puckmovers on the Canadiens roster and ranks high in the NHL for zone entries. Someone may find that appealing.
Only a handful of defenders in the game contributed more off the rush in 2019-20, per Corey Sznajder’s tracking; Mete is comparable with Sam Girard, Thomas Chabot, Erik Karlsson, and Shea Theodore, who shoulder the workload a ton for their respective teams in terms of driving play towards the o-zone.
In short, Mete can both exit the defensive zone and exit the offensive zone, with possession, better than almost anyone in the league. This has to have value to at least a couple of the other 31 teams.
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