BUFFALO, N.Y. — Defenceman Victor Mete will be in the lineup when Canada faces the Czech Republic tonight in the semifinal of the world junior hockey championship.
The Montreal Canadiens prospect missed Canada’s 8-2 quarterfinal win over Switzerland on Tuesday with a lower-body injury.
“He’s all good to go. Hundred per cent he will be in the lineup,” said head coach Dominique Ducharme. “No setbacks, no surprises.”
Mete had been hurt in Canada’s 4-3 shootout loss to the United States on Dec. 29 and played limited minutes against Denmark on Dec. 30.
He has four assists and a plus-5 rating in 27 games with the Canadiens this season. A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft, it’s expected that Mete will return to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights after the tournament. Montreal had loaned him to Hockey Canada for the world juniors.
Mete had 15 goals and 29 assists with a plus-36 rating for London last season. Although Mete missed the cut for Canada’s junior team last year, he has been relied on as a veteran at this edition of the tournament because of his NHL experience.
“Speed, he’s good on both sides of the puck, good transition, defending well,” said Ducharme when asked to describe what Mete brings to the ice. “He brings a lot.”
Carter Hart will be Canada’s starting goaltender.