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UPDATED: Currie signs two-year deal to return to AHL's Bakersfield Condors


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – 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.

RELATED: Click here for a story on Currie from before the season started.

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.”

RELATED: Click here for a story on Currie making the move to the AHL from 2015.

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 well-deserved 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.

Need to know

A look at Josh Currie

Who – A professional hockey player from Charlottetown.

Age – 24.

The latest ­– Signed a two-year contract Thursday with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.

Currie said: “I’m excited. It’s a place I know, the fans are great and they treat me really well there and I like the coaching staff.”

Condors head coach Gerry Fleming said: “His teammate love him. You know what you’re going to get every time he steps on the ice. He’s going to give maximum effort.’’

Junior career – Currie played for the Summerside Western Capitals in 2008-09 before spending the next four seasons with the P.E.I. Rocket. He had 49 goals and 55 assists for 104 points in 68 games during his final junior season in 2012-13.

Pro statistics

2013-14         ECHL   70       15       16       31

2014-15         ECHL   71       14       28       42

2015-16         ECHL   13       6          6          12

2015-16         AHL     53       10       14       24

2016-17         AHL     67       22       14       36

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