PLAYING WITH CONFIDENCE
Josh Currie signs two-year contract with AHL’s Bakersfield Condors
Josh Currie has been given the stability of a two-year AHL contract, but knows there is work to do to get to the next level.
The Bakersfield Condors announced on Thursday they had agreed to terms with the 24-year-old Charlottetown native. He has played the past two seasons with the Condors, the Edmonton Oilers farm club.
“It gives you job security and in hockey that’s a big thing,’’ Currie said. “It’s great to have a two-year American league deal, but obviously the goal is to make it to the NHL and earn an NHL contract.
“So everyday I am still trying to work towards earning that, but it’s definitely great knowing I have stability in Bakersfield for two years.”
The last captain in the P.E.I. Rocket history draws some comparisons between his junior and pro careers.
Currie really came into his own during his third of four junior seasons with the Rocket when given more of an offensive role by coach Gordie
Dwyer. He has played for former UPEI Panther and Armour Fence Islander Gerry Fleming the past two seasons and has been given an opportunity to shine.
“I was put in more of an offensive (role) and I was trusted more by the coaching staff,’’ Currie said. “In hockey, once you have confidence, you feel like you can do anything out there.”
The five-foot-11, 190-pound centre had 22 goals and 14 assists for 36 points in 67 games last season. He tied for the team lead with six game-winning goals and led the squad with 156 shots.
Fleming said Currie has made a strong impression on the new management team
during the past two seasons.
“He’s opened a lot of eyes to the type of player and the type of person he is, so it’s a welldeserved contract,’’ he said. “It keeps him in the organization, keeps him part of the Edmonton Oilers family and we’re really happy to have him back.”
And while he increased his offensive output, he was still a key on the penalty kill and trusted late in games defensively, which have been trademarks of his game for years.
“His play away from the puck, on the penalty kill, his faceoffs, his defensive player, he’s gotten better and better from year to year, from month to month and from shift to shift,’’ Fleming said.
Currie said he has a good relationship with the Condors coaching staff, which are returning for 2017-18, and that helped in deciding where he wanted to play next season as he works to make it to the NHL.
“I definitely feel like there’s tons of opportunity for me to get a lot of good looks in Bakersfield that’s going to ultimately, hopefully, help me get me to the next level,” he said. “I definitely feel like this is the best place for me.”
Currie is home for the summer. He will work out with Matt Brenton, director of sport conditioning at Andrews Hockey Growth Programs, to get stronger and quicker for the upcoming season.
Josh Currie has signed a two-year AHL contract after his best pro season.
Charlottetown native Josh Currie celebrates a goal during the 2016-17 AHL season.