MONTREAL – Yannick Weber
proved to be quite the multi-purpose Swiss Army knife for Jacques Martin this year.
After starting the season in Hamilton, Weber didn’t wait long to re-pack his bags for a one-way trip back to Montreal. When All-Star Habs defenseman Andrei Markov
went down with a season-ending injury this November, the 22-year-old blue-liner was called in for reinforcement and never looked back.
“When I was called up, I knew it was going to be really hard to make my mark in this league and crack the Top 6,” admitted Weber, who suited up for 41 games for the Canadiens this season. “On top of that, everyone here was playing really solid hockey. I just had to wait for my opportunity to come. When I did get my chance to play, I think I proved to the coaches that they could have confidence in me and they could use me in any situation out there.
“As the season went on, I got more and more time on the penalty kill and on the power play,” he continued. “It was great to have that opportunity and I think I proved I belong in this league.”
Weber didn’t just make his case for full-time tenure in the NHL this season; the lifelong defenseman also discovered a few special talents he had hidden up his sleeve.
“I think it worked pretty well using me as a forward at times this year. It wasn’t an easy role for me, but I was just happy to be playing,” explained Weber, who scored two goals in three postseason games as a forward this spring while still manning the point on the power play. “I’m not the best forward, but it was nice to be able to be out there helping the team.”
While the Morges, Switzerland native isn’t interested in making the move up front on a more permanent basis, he still relished the opportunity to show off his versatility.
“I’m first and foremost a defenseman and that’s where I want to play, but I think it was good for them and good for me to see that if something happens over the course of a game or during the season that I can change hats and play forward,” reasoned Weber, who likened his ability to play either position to fellow Swiss blue-liner and former Hab Mark Streit.
“I feel more and more comfortable as an NHLer every day and I think I proved that to the team and to everyone else around the league this year.”Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis.SEE ALSOSpecial message to Habs fansEnd of season assessment - Yannick WeberOnly the beginning Habby Birthday Jeff! Final Thoughts