It took 392 games over two leagues in minor hockey, but Josh Currie, who has been a fan favorite in Bakersfield for the past five seasons, has made it to the National Hockey League.
Currie, 26, was called up to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday and played against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday in Edmonton.
“It’s hard to really put in words, I mean I’ve worked so hard for this,” said Currie, after the morning skate on Tuesday. “When I was a kid this is what I dreamed of doing, playing in the NHL, so it literally is a dream come true. I’m just super excited to be here and looking forward to helping the team.”
Currie, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, came to the Condors as a second-year pro when they were in the ECHL in 2014-15. He scored 14 goals in 71 games that season and then 10 in 53 games at the AHL level the following season.
He has now scored 20 or more goals in three consecutive seasons and leads the Condors with 24 goals (a career high) in 49 games. He signed his first NHL contract with Edmonton last July.
“I’ve never seen him play hockey,” replied Edmonton head coach Ken Hitchcock when asked what he expected from Currie. “Obviously he’s got a hot stick and is playing really well.
“He’s at that age now when you want to know is he’s a full or part-time NHL player. We want to give him that opportunity. We’ll have him on the power play hopefully in the next couple of games. We’re hoping that what he did in the American Hockey League rubs off.”
Currie was penciled in at right wing on the fourth line.
“I definitely want to take care of my own zone first but I definitely want to chip in offensively or generate some offense any way I can,” Currie said of his expectations … I’m not going to come out here and try to be someone I’m not.”
In other Condors news, veteran defenseman Brandon Manning cleared waivers and has been assigned to the Condors by the Oilers. He last played at the AHL level in the 2014-15 season.