CALGARY — Kodie Curran took an unorthodox route to an NHL contract.
The former University of Calgary Dinos defenceman has signed a two-year, one-way contract with the Anaheim Ducks.
The contract is worth US$2 million, according to CapFriendly.com.
Curran played for the Dinos from 2010 to 2015.
The 30-year-old Calgarian spent the last two seasons in the Swedish Hockey League with Rögle BK. Curran also helped Canada reach the championship game of the 2018 Spengler Cup.
Curran had 89 points in 96 Canada West regular-season games and helped the Dinos reach the 2011 national championship for the first time in over a decade.
He was a conference all-star in his final two seasons. Curran was among head coach Mark Howell’s first recruits in 2010.
“He has worked extremely hard these past few years to realize his dream of playing in the NHL,” Howell said in a statement from the university’s athletics department.
“The Anaheim Ducks are getting a terrific defenceman.”
The six-foot-two, 200-pound Curran earned the SHL’s most valuable player award this past season. The defenceman had 12 goals and 37 assists in 48 games.
The Swedish league’s Guldhjälmen (The Gold Helmet) was previously won by NHL players such as Peter Forsberg, Henrik Lundqvist and current Calgary Flames forward Derek Ryan.
After completing his university eligibility in 2015, Curran split the 2015-16 season between thr ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits and AHL’s Hartford Wold Pack, then headed to Europe to play in Denmark and Sweden.
“Kodie was always an extremely talented defenceman. It was just a matter of him kind of putting his all-around game together that would determine how far he could go,” former Dinos teammate Brock Nixon said.
“It was obvious as he advanced to higher calibre leagues and played with top end players. His game kept excelling and that only happens to guys who can think the game at an elite level.”
Former Dinos who have also played in the NHL include current Dallas Stars GM Jill Nill.
Centre Bracken Kearns played 35 games for Florida, San Jose and the New York Islanders between 2011 and 2017.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2020.
The Canadian Press