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2017-18 Player Review: Yannick Weber

He can skate, he can play defense, he can cook.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Yannick Weber finished the regular season with two goals and three assists. He also tallied a goal during the playoffs. While he typically played as part of the 3rd pair with the Nashville Predators, he was often overlooked in favor of Alexei Emelin for the open spot on the 2nd pairing, due to Ryan Ellis’s injury. Of course, he also suffered a nasty lower body injury that took him out of consideration during November. Let’s take a closer look at his season.

Season Overview

This season began with Weber looking at a golden opportunity to shine. The absence of Ryan Ellis left a void that needed to be filled and there were plenty of people vying for it. For reasons no one actually understands, Alexei Emelin got the call most of the time. Ultimately, Ryan Ellis returned and filled the role of Ryan Ellis quite nicely. Take a look at these comparisons between Weber’s numbers and the numbers of Emelin and Ellis respectively:

So, you now, Emelin was pretty bad, while Weber was quite good at a few things. He had some decent shot quality, but his passing lacked a bit. I’d have to think that his small sample size has a lot to do with the dramatic highs, but I’m guessing that if he’d had more TOI, he’d have averaged out a bit more. Still higher than Emelin, of course, but the highs wouldn’t be quite so high. Take a look at how he compared to Ryan Ellis:

Oh, Lordy. Pretty easy to see that Weber wasn’t the best replacement for Ellis. What this really shows is that Yannick Weber is a dependable 3rd pair defender that can handle his TOI each night when he’s healthy.

Best (on-ice) Moment(s)

As a defenseman, Yannick Weber is supposed to keep the puck away from the goal. Of course, sometimes that doesn’t happen and Pekka Rinne (or Juuse Saros) has to stop it. Now, as much as I hate to say it, sometimes the best father/son goalie duo in the NHL doesn’t get the job done. In this case, during Game 5 of the second round of the playoffs, Weber reached out and stole one back from Blake Wheeler:

Did you know that Weber scored 66.67% of his goals this season against Vezina finalist Connor Hellebuyck? I was lucky enough to be in attendance for both of them. And, while I enjoyed both immensely (and may have used obscenities to magnify my excitement), I think this one may have been the best because it evened the score against Winnipeg (earlier in the same game from above. I remember him getting the puck and taking off. The entire arena collectively thought “PASS IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!” while I was yelling“SHOOT IT!”” and guess what? He shot it. And it was NASTY. Of course, neither his goal, nor the goal line save, was enough to keep the Predators from taking an L:

Worst (on-ice) Moment

November 12th, versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Weber made contact with Riley Sheahan and his leg buckled in one of those ways they like to replay on TV in order to make weak-stomached people (like me) vomit. I’m not going to post a video. No one wants to see it. Either way, it took him off the ice for several weeks as it caused a severe injury to his lower body. And we all know you need your lower body to play hockey.

Best (off-ice) Moment

Weber had a lot of time off the ice this season. While he may not be a carousing party-boy, he definitely made a name for himself IN THE KITCHEN!!! Hey, Food Network (or, The Cooking Channel, if you’re nasty) you need to get Yannick Weber on Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, or at least SOMETHING where he can show off his talents. So, look, Kayla Anderson, with WKRN in Nashville, had a series called “On the Prowl”. She had Weber on to make Mushroom Risotto. Weber absolutely SLAYED that risotto. Look, I’ve watched a lot of cooking shows and I’ve seen risottos sink many highly trained, skilled chefs. Weber made it look, Ramen easy. He even said it wasn’t hard to do! Seriously, let’s start a campaign to get Weber cooking on national TV. Take a look and tell me you aren’t here for this.

Yannick also shined in the Predators produced short in which the Swiss players competed in a gingerbread house making contest. Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala (poor, poor, Kevin) didn’t stand a chance against the one man gingerbread construction crew that is Yannick Weber:

Worst (off-ice) Moment (it wasn’t his fault)

Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Colin Wilson appeared on an episode of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen last season. This season, with Wilson gone, Johansen and Forsberg were asked to come back. I imagine they had a conversation that went something like this:

Yearwood: You guys should totally come back on my show.

Johansen: Fil and I can come back, but Colin’s in Colorado now.

Yearwood: Is there someone else you can bring?

Forsberg (in the background, to Johansen): Weber can cook! Bring him!

Johansen: Uh, yeah Trisha, we got a guy that knows how to cook.

Yearwood: Bring him! I’ll give him a cool cooking job to do!

Johansen: Sounds great!

Garth Brooks (in the background): Hey, Honey, I need to use the phone, I gotta call Baton*CLICK*

So the big day finally arrives and the boys show up. Weber is ready to impress. Yearwood works her way through several recipes and FINALLY lets Weber help out with the cocktail. You know what she lets him do? This man who can whip up a risotto while suffering from an injury to his lower body? She has him muddle some fruit. She let’s him smash some fruit...with the back of spoon. GIVE. ME. A. BREAK. TRISHA! (if you’re interested in the recipe and want to try your hand at muddling, click here)

Weak sauce, Yearwood. Weak sauce.

Okay, Trisha, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. You’re a Predators fan and I forgive you. But surely, we can do better next time...right?

(on-ice) Grade: C+

Weber was about what you could expect out of 3rd pair defender. He showed he could handle his job on the 3rd pair, but got robbed of a lot of his season due to an LBI. I would give him a C, but I went ahead and added the + to it because of things that don’t show up in stats. He’s a very strong, solid player, even though he isn’t as big as some of the other guys on the ice, he can hurt you on the boards. He also doesn’t take very many penalties and rocks the playoff beard all season long.

(off-ice) Grade: A+

No explanation needed. Yannick Weber is the Next Food Network Star, Iron Chef, and will Beat Bobby Flay immediately upon retiring from the NHL. Don’t @ me. (unless you are with the Food Network)