Gritty forward Curtis McKenzie, in the midst of a career campaign, has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 with the only NHL club he’s ever known, the Dallas Stars.
Dallas made the signing official on Friday.
“Curtis has developed into a strong and tenacious player who has continued to define his role as a valuable member of the team,” GM Jim Nill said in a release. “A true home-grown player, he has worked hard at all levels within the Stars organization and has earned his way onto the NHL roster.”
As Nill mentioned, McKenzie’s ties to Texas run deep. The 26-year-old was taken by the Stars all the way back in 2009 and, following a four-year collegiate career at Miami (Ohio), he turned pro with Dallas’ AHL affiliate in 2012.
In ’13-14, he was named the AHL’s rookie of the year and, the season following, made his big-league debut with Dallas, appearing in 36 games.
After extensive seasoning in Texas, McKenzie broke through this year by posting career highs in games played (43), points (11) and TOI per night (10:49), finally emerging as a full-time NHLer.
Of note, this is second forward Dallas has extended this week. Earlier, the club agreed to terms with veteran Adam Cracknell on a similar one-year deal.