Update: The signatures are now official.
We have signed one-year contracts with defenders Jordie Benn and Victor Mete. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 15, 2022
Both contracts are for $750,000.
Hearing of the Leafs signing UFA Victor Mete.
— Luke Fox (@lukefoxjukebox) July 14, 2022
During his press conference yesterday, Kyle Dubas said he wanted to sign other players. Today, we have a report that one of them is Junior’s Mitch Marner’s former pal, Victor Mete.
Mete, 24, is a left-handed defenseman who traveled to Montreal, who drafted him 100th overall in 2016, in Ottawa, and now he’ll wear the blue and white. But will it be the Marlies or the Leafs?
Mete struggled to break into the NHL on teams where the way seemed wide open. He was a star for the Knights and played in the WJC for Canada, but so far his professional career has been rocky.
His last contract was for a $1.2 million Senators prospect, but they opted out of making him a qualifying offer because he didn’t live up to their hopes. We should probably expect something closer to the minimum amount and for Mete to be in the AHL at least some of the time.
As a recall option, that seems like a good choice, as he has a lot of NHL experience and wants to prove himself. But he’s not the only new defenseman coming to Toronto:
Jordie Benn, brother of the most famous Jamie, is about to turn 35. He played 39 games with the Minnesota Wild last year and is the kind of reliable veteran teams they love. You wouldn’t expect him to be a full-time NHL player now, but he should be a good pro.
When we have more details, we will let you know.