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Philippe Desrosiers, Joe Vrbetic sign one-year contracts with the Laval Rocket

The goaltenders will likely start the season in Trois-Rivières.

Lions de Trois-Rivières

Although uncertainty remains about the goaltending position with the Montreal Canadiens given the health of Carey Price, the organizational depth at the position got a little bit more shored up, as the Laval Rocket have announced that they have signed goaltenders Philippe Desrosiers and 2021 seventh-round NHL draft selection Joe Vrbetic to two-way AHL contracts.

Desrosiers spent the majority of last season with the ECHL Lions de Trois-Rivières, frequently putting on heroic performances, and earning him top honours for the first half of the season. He was contracted with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, and was called up on a couple of occasions to defend the cage for the Winnipeg Jets’ minor-league affiliate. He completed the season by signing an NHL contract with the Jets as injury issues forced them into the move.

Desrosiers had been under an NHL contract every season since 2014 when he signed his entry-level deal with the Dallas Stars who drafted him in the second round of the 2013 entry draft. He has 76 games of experience in the AHL and 140 games of experience in the ECHL. He was on the Florida Panthers taxi squad during the pandemic 2020-21 season, but did not get to see any NHL game action.

Last season he played 34 games for the Lions, with a 3.09 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. He won 19 games, 3 by shutout. He also started all seven playoff games for the Lions in their first round classic series against the Newfoundland Growlers.

Vrbetic just completed his second full season in the Ontario Hockey League after the 2020-21 campaign was wiped out by COVID-19. He played 42 games in 2019-20, then 45 contests last year, posting a 29-10-6 record with the North Bay Battalion and a .906 save percentage. He was 6-1 in the post-season with a mark of .872.