Curtis McKenzie
Image: NHL

Curtis McKenzie

Hometown:

Golden British Columbia

Team:

Dallas Stars

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1991-02-22

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2009

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2009

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

6th round (159th overall), 2009

Weight:

192 lbs.

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History

2007-08: Curtis McKenzie played for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL.  In 49 games, McKenzie scored 3 goals and added 7 assists while racking up 81 penalty minutes.

2008-09: McKenzie, playing for Penticton, elevated his game this season.  In 53 games for the Vees, he scored 30 goals and added 34 assists to go along with 90 penalty minutes.  Played for the Canada West entry at the 2008 World Junior Challenge Cup.

McKenzie had an opportunity to play in the Western Hockey League but chose to go the college route.

2009-10: McKenzie finished with 6 goals and 21 assists in 42 games with Miami University(NCAA). It was his Freshman year with the school.

2010-11: After an impressive 27-point freshman campaign, Curtis McKenzie left a little to be desired in his sophomore season.   His scoring total was cut by more than half and the high work rate that he showed in his first year wasn’t fully there in what turned out to be a championship season for the Redhawks.  McKenzie was pushed down the lineup and rarely gave much of a reason to move him up.  He has a fair amount of potential as he’s just 20 years old – but he’ll need to capitalize on the ice time made available to him next year due to graduations.

2011-12: McKenzie saw steady ice-time in a second and third line role for Miami University as a junior. He scored 5 goals with 12 assists and was plus-10 with 60 penalty minutes in 40 games. Miami finished fourth in the CCHA and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after defeating Bowling Green in the CCHA third place game.

2012-13: McKenzie made his pro hockey debut with Dallas affiliate Texas in April following his senior season at Miami. He played five games and had an assist in the final game of the season against Rockford, his only point, finishing -3 with 14 penalty minutes. The Texas Stars finished first in the South Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. McKenzie played two playoff games with no points nor penalty minutes. McKenzie was the third-leading scorer for CCHA regular season champion Miami as a senior, scoring 11 goals with 13 assists, and was +2 with a team-leading 80 penalty minutes. The RedHawks lost to Michigan in the CCHA finals and defeated Minnesota State in the NCAA Midwest Regional before falling to St. Cloud State in the regional final.

2013-14: McKenzie was the second-leading scorer for Dallas AHL affiliate Texas in his first pro season: receiving the Dudley “Red” Garrett award as the AHL’s top rookie. Trailing only veteran Travis Morin, he scored 27 goals with 38 assists in 75 regular season games and was +7 with 92 penalty minutes. Ten of his 27 goals were scored on the power play. The Stars finished first in the West Division, taking an epic seven-game series with Toronto in the Western Conference finals before defeating St. John’s in five games in the Calder Cup finals. McKenzie scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was +2 with 21 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. 

2014-15: McKenzie made his NHL debut with Dallas in an October 18th game against Philadelphia and appeared in 36 games with Dallas, shuffling between the Stars and AHL affiliate Texas in his second pro season. He scored his first career goal on November 16th against the Blackhawks and finished the year with 4 goals and 1 assist, accumulating 48 penalty minutes with a -8 plus/minus and averaging 11:32 minutes of ice time. McKenzie scored 6 goals with 15 assists and had an even plus/minus with 46 penalty minutes in 31 AHL games for Texas. McKenzie was re-signed by Dallas to a two-year contract as a restricted free agent in July 2015. 

Talent Analysis

McKenzie is not a terrific skater, but can make up for it with his strength.  When he’s working hard, he can be a threat at both ends of the ice but his offensive ceiling is somewhat limited.  He can kill penalties, be a physical force, win puck battles, do fine board work but there isn’t a lot in the organic offense department.  If he continues to add strength, becomes a more consistent worker and focuses on becoming a defensive specialist, he could carve out a useful NHL career.

Future

McKenzie suffered a lower-body injury in his first game with the Stars on October 14th, spending the first month of the 2015-16 on injured reserve. He was reassigned to AHL affiliate in November when he returned before being recalled by the Stars in February. McKenzie has been a consistent scorer for the Texas Stars while continuing to accumulate penalty minutes but has seen limited minutes with Dallas. Long-range, he projects as a third line checking winger, like a slightly less talented version of Daniel Winnik.

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