The Toronto Maple Leafs continue on their crusade of swooping up unqualified RFAs, adding some defensive depth in the process. According to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox, the team is bringing in defenseman Victor Mete. They’ve also signed gritty veteran Jordie Benn on a one-year deal for $750K, which is the price of both deals.
Mete heads to his third Canadian team after spending five NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. A decent depth defenseman, most would say Mete was rushed into NHL minutes at age 19 despite being the 100th overall pick just one year prior to his debut in 2017-18. He’d posted really solid defensive play during his time in Montreal, but after the Senators claimed him on waivers in April of 2021, he didn’t have the same success. He played just 37 of 82 games in 2021-22, averaging only 14:37 per game and notching seven assists. It was a year to forget for Mete, but he’ll now head to Toronto to rediscover his defensive game.
Benn, 34, joins the Leafs after an eight-point, 39-game season with the Minnesota Wild last year. Jamie Benn’s older brother hasn’t been terribly effective for years now aside from providing a gritty, physical presence at the bottom of the lineup, and he’ll provide the same thing for Toronto. He’ll likely get most of his action when the team opts to ice 11 forwards and seven defensemen.