Michael Grabner could be nearing his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks. ((Jeff Gross/Getty Images))

The Vancouver Canucks announced on Wednesday that forward Michael Grabner has been recalled from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

Grabner scored 40 goals in 86 regular season and playoff games with Manitoba last season and was expected to battle for a roster spot at Vancouver's camp last month, but had a disappointing pre-season.

Since being sent down, the speedy Austrian has notched four goals and two assists in five games with the Moose.

Grabner was selected 14th overall in the 2006 NHL entry draft from the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League.

He has yet to appear in the NHL and may get his chance on Friday when the team plays in Calgary.

The Canucks on Tuesday sent down Guillaume Desbiens, who had a one-game cameo with the NHL club on Sunday. A vacant roster spot up front was created by the foot injury suffered by Daniel Sedin.