Canada's Victor Mete to play world junior semifinal vs. Czechs
Defenceman missed quarter-final win over Swiss with lower-body injury
Defenceman Victor Mete will be in the lineup when Canada faces the Czech Republic on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in the semifinal of the world junior hockey championship in Buffalo.
The Montreal Canadiens prospect missed Canada's 8-2 quarter-final 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."
He brings a lot. Speed, he's good on both sides of the puck, good transition, defending well.— Canada head coach Dominique Ducharme on defenceman Victor Mete
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.