Dienstag, 22. April 2014

Season Review 2013/14 - Yannick Weber

Yannick Weber

- Nationality: SUI
- DOB: 1988/09/23
- 181 cm (5'11") / 91 kg (200 lbs)
- Position: D/RW

- NHL Team: Vancouver Canucks
- NHL Draft: 2007 (3/73) by the Montreal Canadiens
- Contract: 1 year / $650,000 until 2013/14
- 2013/14 Salary: $650,000

Here a quick overview of Yannick Weber's stats since his arrival in the NHL. Last season marked his sixth in the NHL, his first with the Vancouver Canucks:

After 5 seasons in the organization of the Montreal Canadiens it was time for a change. Yannick Weber split his time in Montreal with their AHL affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs and was recalled to the NHL and assigned back to the AHL more than he had wished for. Actually a defenseman he was also regularly used as a right wing mostly on the fourth line.
On July 5th 2013 Weber signed a one-year one-way contract worth $650,000 with the Vancouver Canucks hoping he could be a NHL regular defenseman in the Western Conference.

Season Review 2013/14

Weber was a healthy scratch in the first regular season game. But due to injuries and suspensions he received a chance as the 7th defenseman from game 2 on. In 6 consecutive games the Swiss defenseman couldn't showcase himself enough to earn a regular spot on the blueline and was back being a healthy scrath after playing the least minutes of all defenseman. 

There was not much celebration for Weber
at the beginning of the season.

He was inserted back in the lineup for 3 games at the end of October, but couldn't make an impression. After only 10 played games Weber was placed on waivers on November 18th in order to be assigned to Vancouver's affiliate, the Utica Comets in the AHL. He went unclaimed on waivers. In 7 games with the Comets he posted 2 goals and 5 assists. The Comets' head coach is somewhat familiar to the Swiss hockey scene, as Travis Green played his last season 2007/08 as an center for EV Zug in the Swiss National League A.

Recalled on December 8th

His 7 points in 7 games for the Comets didn't get unnoticed as Weber was recalled on December 8th. From that day on he never looked back and stayed with the Canucks till the season's end. In his first three games back he recored 1 goal and 2 assists and even found himself on the powerplay. His minutes per game increased from his first stint with Vancouver (mostly between 10 and 15 minutes), but were constantly the least of all defenseman. His season best, 28:22 came on January 18th in a 3-2 shootout win against Calgary.

More ice time as season winded down

Overall the Vancouver Canucks played themselves out of a playoff spot rather early. Injuries to their key players and slumps from their money players, especially the Sedins led to a very disappointing season. The Canucks finished the season 12th in the Western Conference, 8 points out of a playoff spot. Towards the end of the season head coach John Tortorella relied more on his Swiss defenseman playing him in all situations, probably giving him a chance to show Canucks' management if he earned a new contract or if they would let him go by season's end. Known as a powerplay specialist with a lethal shot, Weber scored 3 of his 6 goals and 2 of his 4 assists with the man-advantage. If his improved play in the last couple of weeks earned him a new contract with the Canucks or even in the NHL remains to be seen.

A disappointing Olympic tournament in Sochi

Like all of his fellow Swiss NHL players - except for the goalies - Weber didn't live up to the (high) expectations, going 4 games without a point. It was a tournament to forget.

Yannick Weber at the Olympics in Sochi.

Weber's future is uncertain

An NHL team looking for a powerplay specialist who is a number 6 or 7 defenseman could sign Yannick Weber for the coming season. He would probably have to agree to a one-year two-way deal if he wanted to prolong his NHL career. The other option would be a return to the Swiss National League A, as Weber has been linked to SC Bern. 

Does an NHL team still believe in Yannick Weber?
My guess is that he will receive some two-way deals, but wanting a one-way deal Weber will end up with SC Bern. Yannick Weber will be joining the Swiss national team for the upcoming 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, Belarus hoping he can show his qualities to earn himself a new NHL contract.

Follow me on Twitter: @HNISwitzerland 

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