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Weber: Mr. Mentor

Shea Weber is taking pride in teaching some of the Canadiens' youngsters the tricks of the trade on defense

by Matt Cudzinowski @canadiensmtl /

BROSSARD - If Victor Mete's buddies back in London, ON are just a little bit of envious of him right now, there's a really good reason why.

For the second straight day on Saturday, the 19-year-old defenseman was paired with Shea Weber on the back end during on-ice workouts at the Bell Sports Complex.

"I've heard from a couple of guys in London [where Mete plays for the OHL's London Knights]. They saw that," said Mete, who admits to having received a few text messages since suiting up alongside his veteran counterpart at training camp. "They've been saying that it's really cool that I've been able to play with a guy that they've been watching since they were little."

Video: Mete on playing alongside Weber

Unlike his friends in Southwestern Ontario, though, Mete can't afford to simply be in awe of the Canadiens' assistant captain. He's out to impress team brass and soak up everything he can from Weber along the way.

"He's taught me a lot of things so far, just like 3-on-2's, how to play them the right way, and how to defend better with your stick pretty much all over the ice," mentioned Mete, the Canadiens' fourth-round pick, 100th overall, at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo. "He can kind of mentor me and take me under his wing. I think being with him is one of the best situations for me. I can even take it all back to Junior if I get sent back or bring it back into next year."

While Mete is definitely enjoying the experience so far, the same can be said for Weber, who is preparing to embark on his 13th NHL campaign.

"He's good. He's obviously a guy that's mobile and he's got good skill with the puck. It's only been a couple of days, but he's been pretty good. He's got a lot potential," praised the 32-year-old blueliner. "The more time we get to spend together, I'm sure he'll get more comfortable." 

Assuming a mentorship role isn't something new for the six-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, who also sported the "C" during his final six seasons with the Nashville Predators before being dealt to the Canadiens last summer. 

"I took a lot of pride working with the young guys in Nashville. They drafted a lot of defensemen in the first round and I tried to help as many of them as much as I could, because when I was young I had a lot of older guys that I looked up to on the team and it meant a lot to me," explained Weber, who also took reps alongside 20-year-old young gun Simon Bourque on Saturday as well. "If I could influence them at all and help them improve their game, I'd love to help them."

Video: Weber on helping young players

Mete isn't reading anything into his being partnered with Weber through two days of practice, of course. His focus is squarely on making sound decisions with the puck, while learning and improving every time he hits the ice.

"I've just got to keep my mind on the main goals. Luckily, I'm with Shea now so that gives me more experience on the right side and he can kind of teach me," mentioned Mete. "I've just got to keep the drive going forward and hopefully I can get the opportunity to stay here as long as possible."

The Canadiens won't be practicing on the South Shore on Sunday. Instead, they'll be playing a friendly Red vs. White intrasquad scrimmage at the Bell Centre at 1 p.m. EST. To purchase tickets for the game, click here.

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