Lethbridge Hurricanes hockey player, Ryan Vandervlis, continues to improve in hospital after he was severely burned last month in a campfire explosion and his family says doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.

Vandervlis, his teammate Jordy Bellerive and alumnus Matt Alfaro, were injured on June 15 after a fire in a backyard pit exploded.

The three were attending a party at the Bearspaw area home of former Hurricanes’ player Tyler Wong when the incident happened.

Vandervlis suffered burns to about 50 percent of his body and Bellerive and Alfaro were also admitted to hospital with burns to their upper bodies.

Vandervlis was placed in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit at Foothills Medical Centre for several weeks following the incident.

His family says he was moved to the Burn Unit on the weekend and that he is now fully alert.

His parents say he has had five surgeries so far and that he will face more as he continues to recover and that his treatment will focus on healing, pain management and rehabilitation.

The family says he is able to communicate through texts and whispering and that he continues to show signs of improvement.

Vandervlis' doctors say his age and excellent physical condition will help him to make a full recovery.

His family says they are grateful for the continued support and well wishes from the community.