With the season quickly approaching, the Buffalo Sabres better act fast with their defensive situation. With so many defenseman on the current roster and some younger ones ready to make the jump to the NHL, Regier will most likely have to move a body or two. However, one defenseman not going anywhere is Mike Weber. After signing a 3 year, 5 million dollar contract earlier this offseason, Weber is here to stay and build on his solid performance from last year.
Throughout his career, Mike Weber has never been classified as an offensive defenseman; in fact he is quite the opposite. In 42 games last season, Weber tallied 1 goal and 6 assists with the Sabres. The best part about Weber’s game does not appear on the score sheet. In the 2013 season, Weber led the Sabres in blocked shots with 92, and also in average shorthanded time on ice. Weber’s leadership is taking on a more significant role each and every year and there is no doubt in my mind that he will make an exceptional mentor for the young Dmen in the coming seasons.
Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2006 Entry Draft, Weber has spent parts of 5 seasons with the Sabres during his career, appearing in 174 games. Standing at 6’2” and 211 lbs, Weber has ideal size for a defensive defenseman. Opposing forwards think twice before heading into the corners when Weber is on the ice, as they know they will have to pay a price. Another great asset to Weber’s game is his positioning. Whether he is blocking a shot, killing a penalty or lining up for a hit, Weber always knows where he has to be, and this is one of the strongest parts of his game.
Aside from his defensive excellence, I personally do see some offensive potential in Weber’s game. Take a look at the 2010-11 season, where Weber accumulated 4 goals and 13 assists in 58 games. To date, this is statistically Weber’s best season. If Weber can play in all 82 games this upcoming season, I do see Weber tallying 25-30 points. Defense is no doubt the strongest part of his game, but don’t count him out offensively as well.
Mike Weber is the definition of toughness. Whether he is blocking shots, throwing his weight around or killing a penalty, you can always count on Weber to make the right play. Weber, by all means is an astounding defensive defenseman, but look for him to have a career year offensively. With such a young team the Buffalo Sabres have, look for Weber to take on more of a leadership role, and potentially have an “A” on his jersey. Coming off arguably his best season in the NHL, Mike Weber will have a breakout season, and be a dominant leader on the backend.