Close, but no cigar
MONTREAL - In the end, Yannick Weber’s Memorial Cup dream wasn’t meant to be, with the Habs’ blue line prospect and his Kitchener Rangers falling in the championship final.
Weber’s bid to become the first Canadiens prospect to raise the Memorial Cup since Duncan Milroy in 2002 came up just short following a 4-1 loss to the Spokane Chiefs. After sitting out the Rangers’ tournament-opening game with an injury, Weber ended up with one goal and a +4 rating in Kitchener’s four remaining games.
The mobile defenseman can take comfort in the fact that he did earn bragging rights over fellow Habs up-and-coming rearguard P.K. Subban, with Weber’s Rangers having eliminated Subban and the Belleville Bulls in the semifinals.
Had Weber won Canada’s junior hockey crown, he would have become only the second defenseman drafted by the Habs to ever do so. Of the 10 Canadiens prospects to have won the Memorial Cup, only Marty Howe managed to accomplish the feat as a blue-liner back in 1973 with the Toronto Marlboros. Despite that early success, Howe did wind up suiting up for the Habs.
Selected 73rd overall by Montreal at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Weber racked up 17 points in as many OHL playoff games in leading the Rangers to their league crown. The Swiss native also ended up third in postseason scoring, six points back of Subban.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com