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Still going strong

After surviving Tuesday's cuts, Victor Mete is hoping a training camp invite is on the horizon

by Matt Cudzinowski @canadiensmtl / canadiens.com

BROSSARD - Seven players were sent back to their respective Junior clubs on Tuesday, but Victor Mete wasn't one of them.

The 19-year-old defenseman remains on the South Shore as rookie camp winds down with the final on-ice session scheduled for Wednesday.

Needless to say, the Toronto, ON native was pleased to learn that he'd be sticking around town.

"I had no idea really. I just kind of went out this weekend [at the rookie tournament in Toronto] and played my best and hoped that I could still be here now. Luckily, I am, and then hopefully I can get an invite to main camp," said Mete, who scored a goal during the two-game set against at Ricoh Coliseum playing alongside Noah Juulsen. "They haven't told me anything. I just go out there and practice hard and play hard and let's see if I get the opportunity or not."

Video: Mete on the competition at rookie camp

One of 16 players still taking part in rookie camp activities at the Bell Sports Complex, Mete, along with Juulsen, Simon Bourque and Stefan Leblanc, are the lone blueline prospects still vying for sports at the Canadiens' training camp, which officially gets underway with medical and physical testing on Thursday.

He is also the lone member of the Canadiens' 2016 draft class still on the rookie camp roster after forwards William Bitten and Michael Pezzetta were returned to Hamilton (OHL) and Sudbury (OHL), respectively. Mete was selected in the fourth round, 100th overall in Buffalo. 

"I thought everyone played well. I don't really know what management is thinking, what their views on those guys or me were. Everyone just played their game," said Mete, who put up 15 goals and 44 points in 50 games for the OHL's London Knights during the 2016-17 campaign. "Fortunately, I'm able to keep going right now."

The 2016 OHL and Memorial Cup champion has thoroughly enjoyed his second rookie camp experience, praising the level of competition to date.

"I thought it was pretty good. It's fun to play against guys who are bigger and stronger," mentioned Mete, who stands 5-foot-9 and tips the scales at 181 pounds. "Guys who are older, they've been playing longer, so they know where to be. It's fun to play with guys of this calibre."

If Mete is given the opportunity to strut his stuff in main camp beginning later on this week, the three-year OHL veteran believes anything really is possible. 

"I'm just going to give it all I have. I have nothing to lose, only to gain. It's up to management to see what they want to do," said Mete, who tries to model his game after that of NHLers Torey Krug, Ryan Ellis and Sami Vatanen. "They're all really good players. They play big roles on their club teams. Hopefully, I can contribute here and be one of those players."

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