Nashville Predators: Meet the Newest Weber, Yannick

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber (6) against the Nashville Predators. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber (6) against the Nashville Predators. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators will have a new Weber on defense this season.

The Nashville Predators have a need for speed and they got great speed and puck movement added to their already talented defense. Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, and Ryan Ellis are now joined by two players who make this team that much better with P.K. Subban and Yannick Weber.

Subban has received a lot of attention, as he deserves, but  Yannick Weber will make a great impression on us all. The 27-year-old Swiss who stands at 5’11” and 200 pounds is an offensive minded defenseman who really has only scratched the surface on his talent. David Poile sees Coach Peter Laviolette’s attacking system as a style that will bring out the best in Yannick and give him his best chance at success.

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When you look at Weber’s young career, one of the first things you notice is his number of games throughout a season. In his eight seasons, the most games he played in a season was 65 and that was his best season. Weber’s first three seasons for The Montreal Canadiens were split between Montreal and their AHL team, The Hamilton Bulldogs, so his impact in Montreal was minimal. The following season he played 60 games, tallied 4 goals, and 18 points, including 4 powerplay goals, 8 power play points, and 88 shots.

For a young guy getting his first full taste of the NHL, that’s a decent start. Sadly, with the lockout season the following year, Weber wasn’t able to impress The Canadiens.  He played in only six games and recorded two assists. After his time in Montreal was finished Yannick moved on to another Canadian team with the Vancouver Canucks where he spent three up and down years.

Once again splitting some time with the AHL, Weber played in 49 games his first season with Vancouver putting up 6 goals and 4 assists. Then came his breakout year in the 2014-2015 season.

Yannick Weber regular season stats in 2014-2015:

65 games with 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points, a +4 plus/minus, along with 5 powerplay goals, 8 power play assists, and 117 shots.

Bogged down with injuries, Weber’s 2015-2016 season dampened the excitement of his breakout year by dropping down to no goals, 7 assists, and a minus -17 player rating. Sounds a little like a player already sporting a gold jersey, Colin Wilson. The two player, although they play different

Nashville Predators
Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

positions have had similar careers. Both had high expectations for their offensive abilities and have had inconsistent careers. They both had career years in 2014-15 and then fell apart the following year.

Yannick Weber’s talents fit what both Poile and Lavy want from their defensemen. He will most likely be put on the third line with Anthony Bitetto where he can play as that line’s Roman Josi. He’ll be the attacking defenseman while Bitetto will be the more “stay at home” guy. With his speed and his powerplay chances, we could see this group of defensemen elevate to even greater heights.

Another reason this group can excel is their chemistry. Josi, Ekholm, Ellis, and Bitetto already have a close bond, but Weber and Subban are stepping into a team with familiar faces. Subban and Weber both played together in Montreal and have a good relationship. There is an even stronger relationship is between Weber and Josi. It’s kind of strange, but there is a different Weber and Josi friendship.

As I mentioned, Yannick is a Swiss-born player. Not only is he from the same country as Josi, but he’s also from the same hometown of Bern. In fact, Yannick Weber played with Josi’s older brother, Yannick Josi before Weber and Roman Josi joined forces on Team Switzerland in the world cup.

I recommend checking out the full story by Tom Willis on The Nashville Predators website. It’s a great read on the extra insight to their friendship before the NHL.

There are a few reasons that you should you be excited about a Weber not named Shea.  Yannick adds something that Shea has lost over time and that’s speed. At 27, Yannick can still move and offer that extra juice that will now be seen in all three defense lines. He brings an offensive edge that makes our defensive corp that much more dangerous, especially on power plays.

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This is a system where Yannick Weber can thrive next to his countryman Josi, and this is a system where he can get his career back on track. We lost a Weber, but we got another one that can bring a lot to The Nashville Predators.