Dunvegan’s Joe Vrbetic cracked the lineup of the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Battalion back in August and hasn’t looked back, called upon as the team’s primary goaltender this season, having played 30 of 42 games to date.
The 17-year-old backstop checks in at 6 ft. 6 in., 180 lb, and has a 4.55 goals-against average and 0.874 save percentage, on a team that sits fifth in the Central Division with 10 wins.
He last played on January 18, allowing one goal against, as North Bay skated to a 3-1 victory over the Niagara Ice Dogs. Named the game’s second star, Vrbetic made 28 saves to backstop the win.
The Glengarrian was drafted by the Battalion in 2018, selected in the second round 31st overall. The rookie is backed up by Cameron Lamour who is two years his senior.
Amongst active goaltenders in the OHL this season, Vrbetic ranks 41st in goals-against average and 36th in save percentage. He’s seventh in games played, the only rookie in the top 10. He’s also seventh in minutes (1686) and fifth in shots faced (1015).