Curtis McKenzie celebrates his first AHL goal against the Rockford IceDogs on Oct. 6.

Golden native Curtis McKenzie begins first pro season

After four years at Miami University in Ohio, Golden native Curtis McKenzie is beginning his first year in the pros.

After four years at Miami University in Ohio, Golden native Curtis McKenzie is beginning his first year in the pros as a member of the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. According to McKenzie, the adjustment to the pros is going well but he has certainly noticed some differences in the level of play when compared to college hockey.

“It’s definitely a lot faster and one thing is that everyone is so much stronger out there. In college you’d kind of push guys off the back, but in the pros they are right back on you,” McKenzie said.

Texas is the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars and McKenzie was able to get into one NHL pre-season game this year against the Florida Panthers.

“It was a great opportunity to be out there and see what level of hockey those guys play,” he said remembering the experience. “To be going against NHL players and have them out there with you as well, it was a pretty cool experience for sure. It was good to know that I can be out there and play against them.”

The 6’2” 210 pound forward says his game is based more on grit and effort than pure skill.

“I try to be a hard nosed player. I got to make a lot of stuff happen, stuff doesn’t just come easy to me. I got to go out there and work for it,” he said.

McKenzie also isn’t afraid to drop the gloves once in a while when he feels his team needs a spark. College hockey rules, however, don’t allow for fighting to be a part of the game, so McKenzie’s first fight at the AHL level was his first in several years.

“The first [fight] I kind of forgot what I was doing, luckily I didn’t get clocked too many times in the face but I had to shake off some rust there for sure.”

As far as adjusting to life in Texas, McKenzie says he has enjoyed the experience a lot so far and that the people have been really friendly.

“I love Texas, it’s a little warmer than Golden for sure. Austin (where the Stars play) is a great city,” he said.

McKenzie was able to play a few games for the Texas Stars late last season after his college career came to a close. He has scored a goal and is a +4 after two games this year.

Just Posted

Painting by Winston Churchill of lake near Field sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work during 1929 visit before becoming UK prime minister

Banked Slalom marks first of its kind event at Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort hosted its first ever snowboard only event last… Continue reading

Women in business: Peggy chalmers is a staple to Golden’s community

What began as a trip to visit Golden in the 1970s evolved… Continue reading

Women’s Day is a reason to celebrate this year

International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world on March 8, but… Continue reading

Boo the bear is done with winter

Just like the groundhog checks for his shadow to predict how much… Continue reading

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

New lead in one of six B.C. searches that remain unresolved

New details in case of couple who’d been flying from Cranbook to Kamloops when plane disappeared

B.C. announces $175 million to cut hip, knee surgery wait times

Premier John Horgan said money will allow for a 34-per-cent increase in surgeries

Starbucks to unveil latest creation: crystal ball frappuccino

The limited-edition drink will be available starting March 22

Eight B.C. restaurants among website’s top 100 in Canada for night out

Seven in Vancouver and one in White Rock make OpenTable’s list of popular spots

B.C.-pioneered wood construction on a roll internationally

Washington state considers mandatory engineered wood for public buildings

Cops say gun-toting robbers used fake police lights to pull over victims

Information wanted on North Shuswap robbery, police impersonation, burnt vehicle, motorhome theft.

BCHL Today: Surrey Eagles and Powell River Kings close to advancing

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read