Montreal Canadiens: Joe Vrbetic Signs With Laval Rocket

OSHAWA, ON - OCTOBER 04: Joe Vrbetic. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
OSHAWA, ON - OCTOBER 04: Joe Vrbetic. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens still have three goaltenders on their roster as they decided to hold on to Sam Montembeault, Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau after training camp.

The Laval Rocket have been relying on Jakub Dobes and Strauss Mann, a couple of young netminders with strong college hockey pedigree, to stop pucks in the AHL. They also have Zachary Emond on their roster as the third stringer.

The Trois Rivieres Lions need goaltenders as well, and with the Canadiens and Rocket seemingly hoarding them, it left the ECHL affiliate a little short. They did have Joe Vrbetic in training camp, though he was not under contract with anyone as he joined them for camp and was trying out for the Rocket.

Vrbetic was sent down to the Lions camp when it opened and it seemed likely he would start the season there, but nothing was official without a contract. With so many goalies in camp for the Canadiens and Rocket, there just might not have been room for everyone.

Well, it is official now as Vrbetic signed a one-year contract with the Rocket. It is a two-way deal that will allow him to play at the AHL level with Laval or head down to the ECHL to join Trois-Rivieres.

The 20 year old was a seventh round pick of the Canadiens in the 2021 NHL Draft. He played most of last season with the Lions in the ECHL where he posted a 3.30 GAA and a .896 SV% in 28 games. He was also called up to the AHL for four games where he put up a 2-1-0 record with the Rocket.

The 6’6″ netminder will likely get the bulk of starts for the Lions this season and try to get them into the ECHL Playoffs. He split time with Philippe Desrosiers last season, but Desrorsiers has signed in LNAH for the 2023-24 season.

The Lions play their first game of the ECHL season on Friday night when they host the Maine Mariners.

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