Dunvegan’s Joe Vrbetic, a goaltender with the North Bay Battalion of the OHL, is amongst hockey prospects on a new list from NHL Central Scouting.
The 18-year-old became the Battalion’s primary backstop last season, manning the hemp hut for 42 games in what ended up being a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 6ft. 6 in., 181 lb. athlete came up through the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ program, before moving to Toronto to play a season in the GTHL.
Amongst his achievements, Vrbetic was a member of the HEO championship Wild team in the 2015-16 season, when he was also recorded a league best 1.79 goals against average.
In the 2018-19 season, as a member of the NOJHL Powassan Voodoos, he had a league best save percentage of .928.
Last year, he was named to the OHL’s second rookie all-start team.
Vrbetic was drafted into the OHL in 2018 by the Battalion, selected 31st overall. He is eligible for the NHL draft in 2021.
Other HEO alumni named to the NHL’s watch list include Mason McTavish, Roman Schmidt, Brandt Clarke, Isaac Enright, Ranvir Gill-Shane, and Connor Lockhart.
Vrbetic is given a ‘B’ rating by NHL Central Scouting, which means he’s listed as a second or third-round draft candidate in 2021.