Vancouver Canucks goalie prospect Mike DiPietro has been called up to the NHL for the first time.
The club says in a statement that the 19-year-old is being summoned from the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s on an “emergency basis.” Defenceman Guillaume Brisebois also was called up from the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets.
DiPietro has split his season between the 67’s and the Windsor Spitfires, posting a 18-10-1 record, a .908 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average. He was also Canada’s starting goalie at this year’s world junior championship in Vancouver.
The move comes after Vancouver backup netminder Thatcher Demko suffered a lower-body injury during a pre-game skate on Monday. The team said in a tweet Tuesday that he has returned to Vancouver for an MRI.
The Canucks are in a bit of a goalie crunch after trading Anders Nilsson, their former No. 2, to the Ottawa Senators last month to make room for Demko, who was playing with the Comets in the AHL.
Vancouver got goaltender Mike McKenna in the deal and tried to send him down to Utica on waivers, but he was picked up by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Of the three goalies currently on the Comets roster, only Richard Bachman is signed to a contract that would allow him to play in the NHL. But the 31-year-old suffered a season-ending injury to his Achilles tendon in December.
Jacob Markstrom was expected to start in net for Vancouver on Tuesday in Washington against the Capitals.
Markstrom stopped 28 shots for the Canucks in their 2-1 loss to the Flyers on Monday.
The game also saw a scary-looking crash that ended with veteran Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler taken off the ice on a stretcher, covered in blood.
The 32-year-old dropped face-first onto the ice midway through the third period after getting his skate caught in the stick of Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek.
Canucks coach Travis Green said after the game that Edler was taken to hospital for X-rays. The team said in a tweet on Tuesday that he will be out for at least a week with a concussion and has returned to Vancouver.
Brisebois was expected to slot into the roster on Tuesday. The 21-year-old has put up nine points in 45 AHL games this season.
The Canucks say left-winger Sven Baertschi has also gone back to B.C. after he woke up feeling unwell on Monday. The 26-year-old missed 30 games with a concussion earlier this season.