Mete is fine with trading Canadiens’ jersey for Team Canada

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario (AP) Rookie defenseman Victor Mete has no trouble exchanging his Montreal Canadiens’ jersey for Team Canada colors and an opportunity to compete in the World Junior hockey championships later this month.

Mete says it’s been a childhood dream to play in the annual tournament and sensed the possibility coming with Montreal’s blue line getting healthier. He was also a healthy scratch twice over the past two weeks.

Mete is additionally motivated after being among the junior national team’s final cuts last year.

The 19-year-old spoke after Team Canada opened its selection camp in St. Catharines, Ontario, on Tuesday, a day after the Canadiens made the decision to allow Mete to play.

Mete was selected by Montreal in the fourth round of the 2016 draft and enjoyed such an impressive preseason that he made the Canadiens’ season-opening roster. He has four assists in 27 career games.

The 10-nation tournament is being held in Buffalo, New York, and opens on Dec. 26.

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