Rookie Kurki providing offensive punch for Humboldt Broncos

HUMBOLDT — Logan Kurki scored in his first game as a Humboldt Bronco and the rookie has been contributing offensively ever since.

The 18-year-old is third on the team with 16 goals and fifth in scoring with 32 points in 36 games. Kurki, who joined the team in October, ranked second among Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League rookies in goals and fifth in points, as of Sunday.

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“Logan Kurki is a very dynamic offensive hockey player who’s got great hands, great vision and a great shot,” Broncos head coach Scott Barney said. “He releases the puck and a lot of times goalies don’t know where it’s going. … Logan is a big part of the future of the Broncos. He’s been great on the offensive side of the puck since he’s came here.”

Twice this season Kurki has been named the Directwest SJHL Rookie of the Week. The 5-foot-11, 163-pounder picked up the honour in mid-November after posting three goals and five points in three games. Kurki’s last win was on Jan. 28 after a week in which he scored four goals and earned an assist in three games. What has allowed Kurki to put points this season?

“I think having played with the same centre in [Karter] McNarland for most of the year has helped build chemistry and get points,” he said, referencing the Broncos’ fourth leading scorer (41) and the SJHL’s third best rookie points producer. “Also, the coaching and having lots of time on the power play and five on five plays a big role.”

Moving from midget AAA to Junior A hockey is definitely a step up with adjustments needed. Kurki, who Barney praised for being creative with the puck, had success right away in Humboldt with two points is his debut. However, the head coach said Kurki has simplified his offensive game. By cutting down the number of moves he makes before shooting the puck, Kurki is “doing a good job now of getting pucks to the net, which is creating more offence for him and his linemates at the same time,” Barney said.

Kurki said he has been working on his play without the puck and wants to improve his shot for the next level. Of Kurki’s defence, Barney said “he’s come a long ways with it and hopefully can continue to improve here for us going forward.”

The Broncos acquired Kurki from the British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express. Last season the Maple Ridge product suited up for the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs with fellow Broncos Cody Hough and Michael Harroch. The duo filled him in before he joined the team.

“They told me Humboldt is a great and close-knit community with lots of hockey lovers,” Kurki said.

He has appreciated not only the community support but that of his billet family, Nancy and Paul Jefferson. Kurki said, “They help me achieve the goals I have set out and I really like living there.”

Kurki is also pleased to be reunited with Hough and Harroch in Saskatchewan. “The familiar faces helped a lot when first coming and having two friends that I have played with the last two years is awesome and just builds a better friendship,” he said.

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