After starting the season in Hamilton, Weber didn’t wait long to re-pack his bags for a one-way trip back to Montreal. When All-Star Habs defenseman Andrei Markov went down with a season-ending injury this November, the 22-year-old blue-liner was called in for reinforcement and never looked back.
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“As the season went on, I got more and more time on the penalty kill and on the power play,” he continued. “It was great to have that opportunity and I think I proved I belong in this league.”
Weber didn’t just make his case for full-time tenure in the NHL this season; the lifelong defenseman also discovered a few special talents he had hidden up his sleeve.
“I think it worked pretty well using me as a forward at times this year. It wasn’t an easy role for me, but I was just happy to be playing,” explained Weber, who scored two goals in three postseason games as a forward this spring while still manning the point on the power play. “I’m not the best forward, but it was nice to be able to be out there helping the team.”
While the Morges, Switzerland native isn’t interested in making the move up front on a more permanent basis, he still relished the opportunity to show off his versatility.
“I’m first and foremost a defenseman and that’s where I want to play, but I think it was good for them and good for me to see that if something happens over the course of a game or during the season that I can change hats and play forward,” reasoned Weber, who likened his ability to play either position to fellow Swiss blue-liner and former Hab Mark Streit.
“I feel more and more comfortable as an NHLer every day and I think I proved that to the team and to everyone else around the league this year.”
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis.
Special message to Habs fans
End of season assessment - Yannick Weber
Only the beginning
Habby Birthday Jeff!