Charlottetown’s Josh Currie said it’s a dream come true.
The 25-year-old former P.E.I. Rocket and Summerside Western Capital signed his first NHL contract on Wednesday, a two-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Terms of the deal were not released.
“This is huge,’’ Currie told The Guardian. “It’s a dream to play in the NHL. Being able to sign an NHL contract is (being) one step away from your dream.’’
Currie has spent the past three seasons with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, leading the team in scoring this past season with 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 68 games.
The five-foot-11, 190-pound forward has posted 106 points (52 goals, 54 assists), 129 penalty minutes and a plus-7 plus-minus rating in 188 career AHL games.
He had 85 points in 154 ECHL games prior to joining the Condors early in 2015-16.
The son of Joanne and Stephen Currie played major junior hockey with the Rocket (now Charlottetown Islanders) from 2009-13, serving as team captain in his last two seasons.
Currie said being in the AHL is akin to being one step away from the NHL but now the contract means he’s a mere phone call away.
“I talked to my agent around the middle of June and he said that we had an offer from Edmonton and, over the past two-and-a-half to three weeks there was more talk and more discussion. They wanted to give me a two-year NHL deal and so, (Tuesday), my agent phoned me and gave me the offer for the two-year deal. I was really pleased with it so I decided to accept it and that’s that.’’
Currie said the Oilers have told him not to make any significant changes to his training this summer or to his game.
“Just to keep working hard,’’ Currie said when asked what the Oilers’ brass told him. “Don’t change what I’ve been doing. I’ve just got to go out, go to camp and try to earn a spot and turn some heads and show them what I can do. (They told me) not to change who I am as a player.’’
Currie said the Oilers’ struggles last season may make it a bit easier for newer guys to get a look but he’s also quick to point out Edmonton still has a rather impressive lineup, led by superstar Connor McDavid.
“Just watching him, he’s kind of in a league of his own sometimes. It’s going to be exciting and thrilling to be on the ice and competing to try and be his teammate so that in itself is just unreal.’’