Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Victor Mete

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Today we will take a look at OHL London Knights defenseman Victor Mete!

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Name: Victor Mete

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 5’10”, 165 lbs

Team/League: London Knights, OHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 74th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 3.5/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Top-Four Defenseman

Draft Range: Second to Third Round

Scouting report

"Undersized defenseman with great poise, decisions, feet, skill set, and offensive capabilities. He can be in his own end, avoid the forecheck turn up ice and carry or outlet it, and if he passes it he will be the four attacker on the rush in no time. If the transition back to the opposition he has the mobility and speed to still be the back in his end defending. Decent at handling most attackers one on one, boxing them out. Plays with calm and is a terrific puck mover in the offensive zone and the power play. Excellent with his decisions with the puck on the PP. Might be THE best offense man in the class. Needs to get stronger and thicker if he is going to project as an all-around pro. (Bill Placzek,"


When talking about Victor Mete, there are two things that come to mind immediately: speed and puck skills. At 5-foot-10, he does not have a typical NHL D-man frame, but his skating and offensive prowess have NHL scouts excited.

Playing on a team with potential No. 1-picked defenseman Olli Juolevi, Mete might be the most exciting Knights defenseman to watch. Whenever he gets the puck, he makes something happen. He transitions quickly from defense to offense and joins the rush as a fourth forward, which is something defensemen are expected to do in today’s NHL. Mete plays a terrific first pass to start the attack but can skate the puck up ice at elite speed as well.

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When Mete picks up the puck in his own zone and takes off, there is little you could criticize, no matter how hard you try. With great acceleration, high-end speed, outstanding agility and terrific stickhandling, Mete rushes past forechecking opponents like they are traffic pylons. He does not leave them a chance and knows what to do next.

In the offensive zone, he moves the puck well, plays accurate passes and has a fairly strong shot, which is worth noting for a 5-foot-10, 165-pound player.

But, Mete is a defenseman, not a forward. No matter what you think about his frame or defensive abilities, and no matter how flawed the plus-minus stat might be, it is hard to ignore that Mete was a plus-53 this season — ranking third in the entire OHL. To get to that number, you either need to play well defensively or be outstanding offensively, and Mete is a mixture of both. His skating, and stick work make him a decent defensive player as well.


Remember Victoria Royals defenseman Joe Hicketts? He had 173 points in 223 WHL contests and played big roles on Canada’s junior squads, including the last two World Junior Championships. But, he never got drafted, mostly thanks to his 5-foot-8 frame.

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Thankfully, Mete is a couple of inches taller than that, but teams are still careful about smaller defensemen. Can he come out on top when he faces NHL competition? Can he stop a Rick Nash or a Milan Lucic when they try to power past him, using their body to protect the puck? How far can skating take him when he neither has the frame nor the reach to make big defensive plays?

Mete likely won’t grow much more in height, so he will at least need to put on that extra weight and muscle to beat NHL power forwards and be able to compete physically. On the bright side, Hicketts is now under contract with the Detroit Red Wings, but whether clubs want to use a high draft pick on Mete is still questionable.

Another big knock on him is that his production was a little inconsistent, especially for an offensive guy on perhaps the best major junior team in the country. Eight goals and 38 points in 68 games are, well, nothing outstanding.

Final Thoughts

Mainly thanks to his frame, but also the missing offensive production, teams will think twice about selecting Mete in the second round. For the Vancouver Canucks, he will be an option in round three or even four, if he slips down that far, though that is rather unlikely.

Mete can be compared to Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, who was a third-round pick for the Avalanche in the 2009 draft. He, too, measures 5-foot-10 but possesses an excellent offensive game. Barrie, a restricted free agent this year, will be highly coveted in the summer, so there is certainly a market for players like him. But Colorado fans have started to wonder whether switching to forward would make more sense for him, as he still has big holes in his defensive game and it worked out so well for Brent Burns and Dustin Byfuglien.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

Either you think Mete will make it or you think he won’t. You take him for what he is, and if you are going to question his size and talk about his defense being bad, pick someone else. The team that does and up picking him could get a terrific offensive player.