Former Kootenay Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski is Broadway-bound after being recalled by the NHL’s New York Rangers Wednesday afternoon.
He will serve as the back up to goaltender Cam Talbot in the Rangers meeting with the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.
Skapski, a native of Abbotsford, was called up by the Rangers after starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was struck in the throat by a puck Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Swedish star finished Saturday’s game before suiting up again Monday against the Florida Panthers.
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said Lundqvist’s absence was a direct result of being struck in the throat over the weekend.
The 6-foot-3, 192-pound Skapski is in his first season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL affiliate of the Rangers. In 24 games, the former Ice netminder is 12-7-3 with a 2.38 goals-against average (GAA), 0.914 save percentage (SP) and two shutouts.
After being drafted in third round (57th overall) of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Skapski spent three full seasons in Cranbrook with the Kootenay Ice, suiting up in 141 games and registering a record of 74-52-3-4 with eight shutouts, a career GAA of 2.81 and career SP of 0.909.
The Rangers selected Skapski with a sixth-round pick (170th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Skapski, 20, was eligible to return to the WHL’s Kootenay Ice as an overager this year, but the Rangers opted to keep him in their minor-pro system.
He started the 2014-15 season with the Rangers’ ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Road Warriors, getting into one game before moving up to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford.
The length of Lundqvist’s absence is still unknown. Skapski will remain with the Rangers until more is known about Lundqvist’s status.
In 39 games this season, the 32-year-old Lundqvist is 25-11-3 with a 2.25 GAA and 0.922 SP, guiding the Rangers to third place in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division heading into Wednesday’s action.
With files from Ira Podell, Associated Press
Video highlights from Mackenzie Skapski’s 12th AHL victory of the season, Jan. 31 vs.Springfield: