The skater checking at No. 36 on the Wolves Top 40 Countdown, presented by Jewel-Osco, made a huge impression on the Wolves organization during his two-year stay: Curtis McKenzie.
Shortly after serving as the captain for the Texas Stars squad that reached the 2018 Calder Cup Finals, McKenzie joined the Wolves prior to the 2018-19 season with a reputation as a leader, a physical forward and as a prolific goal-scorer in the tough areas — and he delivered on all three in Chicago.
McKenzie was part of the group of proven leaders that directed the Wolves to the 2019 Central Division crown. He shared third on the team in goals (20), fourth in points (54) and led the squad with 112 penalty minutes. McKenzie kicked it up another notch during the postseason as he paced the Wolves in goals (eight) and PIMs (51) and shared the team lead in points (15) to lead the squad to the Calder Cup Finals. McKenzie became the only player to appear in three Calder Cup Finals within the last six years.
Last season, in addition to providing leadership for a younger roster, McKenzie was one of three Wolves to play in all 61 contests despite injuries such as taking a puck to the face. He shared the team lead in goals (17) and ranked second in assists (25) and points (42).
Over the weekend, McKenzie signed a one-year, two-way deal with the St. Louis Blues organization.
Want to review the rest of the countdown?
No. 40: Gage Quinney
No. 39: Tim Breslin
No. 38: Nathan Oystrick
No. 37: Ben Simon