KANATA — In six games he’s been waiting for his whole life, Josh Currie already has some NHL stitches, his first NHL goal and his first two NHL assists.And a scoresheet that will forever read McDavid from Currie at 6:47 of the second period against the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 28/19.“Pretty cool who I assisted on,” he grinned, leaning against a wall outside of the Oilers dressing room after Edmonton’s redemptive 4-2 decision over the Senators Thursday. “It wasn’t the greatest assist, but I’ll take it. I’ll take what I can get in this league.”And well he should.Currie is one of the best stories going on the Oilers right now, which isn’t bad on a team with a couple of teammates on pace for 50 goals and/or 100 points.What’s not to like about a 26 year old rookie who was ignored by the draft, dismissed by the experts and doubted by virtually everyone but himself, finally getting his shot — and making pretty good on it so far?After three years in the ECHL and four more in the American League without an NHL sniff, here he is with three points in six games and a growing collection of teammates and coaches who watch him play and wonder why it took so long.‘It’s a dream come true’“Words can’t describe the last week or so,” said the Charlottetown winger, who spread 66 goals over the last three Bakersfield Condors seasons. “It’s a dream come true every day. I just want to keep working and try to stay here.”They’re going to give him a good look. Productive wingers are exactly what the Oilers need, and the NHL has never been more receptive to providing opportunity than it is right now.Of course, he knows from experience that coaches are ultimately the ones who decide what that opportunity looks like, and they don’t like goals against, so bringing a complete game to the rink is the best way stick around.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) fight for control of the puck with Edmonton Oilers Josh Currie during first period NHL pre-season action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Tuesday, Sept, 18, 2018.
JONATHAN HAYWARD /
THE CANADIAN PRESS
“I love to chip in offensively, everyone wants to,” he said. “But I need to be responsible on the walls, good in all three zones and I think I’ve done that so far.“You have to be good in your own zone in this league if you want to stay. If you’re a bottom six guy you have to be responsible. I kind of pride myself in being good in the defensive zone, but I love being in on the offence as well.”‘It made me appreciate hockey’If he works out, he will be the exact opposite of a frustrating norm in Oilers development. Instead of being rushed to the front lines, he waited seven years for his first game. Of course, his route is the exact opposite of the one most NHLers took.“It’s a little bit different,” he said, after chatting with his uncle and 80-year-old grandfather, who were in Kanata for the game. “But it worked out for me.”He’s a long way from the east coast league, but he wouldn’t change those roots for anything.“It’s tough, three (games) in three (nights) is a lot of travel, tough bus rides, but it makes you appreciate everything a little bit more,” he said. “Every time you move up a level you appreciate what you went through and what you worked through.“I have nothing but respect for the league and I’m kind of glad I started there; it made me appreciate hockey and what I get to do every day for a living.”Follow me on email@example.com