A former defenceman for the Vancouver Canucks is being hailed as a hero after carrying an injured teenager down a North Shore hiking trail.

The victim, 13-year-old Christa Minielly, was out with a friend on the Baden-Powell Trail a couple weeks ago when the ground gave way beneath her foot, causing her to tumble down a steep ravine.

“I actually hit my head,” Minielly told CTV News. “I don’t really remember a lot after.”

The accident left her in a daze and unable to see properly, but climbing down the ravine seemed too dangerous for her friend, Brina Lyon.

“I was screaming for help as loud as I could, I didn’t know what else to do,” Lyon said.

Fortunately, a large, burly man with a thick moustache suddenly appeared. Sports fans would have recognized him as Dave Babych, who played for the Canucks during the team’s 1994 playoff run.

The teenagers had no idea who he was, only that he was there to help.

“We heard this man come and I’m like, oh, thank goodness,” Lyon said.

Babych, who had been walking his dog on the trail, helped Minielly back onto the trail then carried her on his shoulder for more than half an hour to safety. The girl’s thankful mother then met them in a parking lot and took her daughter to hospital.

The family said they’re forever thankful, but the former NHL player insists he only did what any passerby would have done in that situation.

“I heard help, help,” Babych told CTV News. “I thought jeez, I better go check.”

Babych said the teenager was in pretty rough shape when he found them. She seemed confused and even spoke some gibberish.

“She was pretty messed up. Two big goose eggs on her forehead,” Babych said.

“I’ve got five boys. You hope if they’re ever in distress like that, someone would help them.”

Minielly was left with a black eye and bruises on her head. Weeks later she’s mostly healed, but she still has an amazing story she can tell for years to come.

“What are the odds, you know? Out of all the [potential rescuers], somebody who’s a famous Canucks player,” she said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s St. John Alexander