The accolades continue to pour in for former Vee Curtis McKenzie. Last week he was named to the AHL (American Hockey League) All-Rookie team, and today the league announced he is the 2013-2014 winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie.
McKenzie, a 2009 draft pick of the Dallas Stars, led all rookies in the AHL with 26 goals and 64 points in 73 games. McKenzie led all rookies in points, assists, power-play points (33) and power-play assists (23). McKenzie was a big key for the league-leading Stars, who sit atop of the AHL with a 47-17-3-7 record and are 9-0-0-1 in their past 10 games.
McKenzie played four years at the University of Miami-Ohio before making his pro debut with Texas late last season. In 158 games at Miami, McKenzie tallied 29 goals and 80 points. Prior to college, the Golden, BC product spent two seasons in Penticton, winning a Fred Page Cup championship in 2008. In his two-year BCHL career, McKenzie amassed 36 goals and 85 points in 120 games.
Just another example of a player putting in his time and that patience and that hard-work is now paying off. As I stated earlier, he stayed in school for all four years, developing his game, which clearly has translated at the AHL level. McKenzie is great example of being patient, not panicking or rushing to get to the next level as soon as possible. You hear it a lot, but McKenzie is living proof of the college model and how it helps players develop for higher levels of hockey.