Former Powassan Voodoos netminder Joe Vrbetic has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Sunday.
The giant 6’6″ goaltender, had a record of 29 wins, 10 losses and six overtime losses in 45 regular season games with the North Bay Battalion, the Voodoos parent affiliate team.
He also sported a 6-1 playoff record for the Battalion during the club’s run to the Eastern Conference Final.
Vrbetic was selected in the seventh round, 214th overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Laval is the AHL affiliate of the Canadiens.
Adam Dennis, Battalion general manager, is thrilled for his big goalie.
“We are very happy for Joe and his new contract,” said Dennis.
“He came in at 16 with the Voodoos and has grown in many ways on and off the ice throughout his time in North Bay. We look forward to following his progression in the pros.”
Chris Dawson, Voodoos general manager, echoes Dennis’ reaction.
“We are so proud to see Joe grow from a highly touted OHL prospect to an NHL drafted goaltender. We hope Joe can take the next step in his development and become a key part of the Canadiens organization.”
Drafted in the second round, 31st overall in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Vrbetic began his time in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League as a 15-year-old goaltender with Powassan during the 2018-19 season where he went on to make 30 appearances and had a 16-9-2 overall record, that included one shutout.
His .928 save percentage during the campaign led all NOJHL netminders.
The towering six-foot-six-inch Vrbetic also sported a 2.80 goals-against average, which placed him in the Top 10 among league stoppers in that category.