A recent appearance in the Greater Ontario Hockey Leagues Prospect Game and Last weeks Player of the Week in the MWJHL indicates a bright future for this Laker Alumnus.
Kurtis's parents attributed some of his amazing success this year to the strong development opportunity Kurtis received playing Major Midget AAA last year for the Lakers. Many 16 year olds are not afforded the playing time and special team opportunities when they rush to junior often receiving few shifts and little pp or pk opportunities. Kurtis was an integral player on last years midget team and has quickly identified himself as a leader in the MWJHL with the Cyclones this year.
In 2 games this past week Kurtis had 2 goals and 3 assists and a plus 4 rating. One of his goals was the game winner against Guelph and he assisted on all three goals in a 3-3 tie against Stratford.
In the recent prospects game the 17-year-old Listowel Cyclones’ forward, the leading goal-scorer in the Midwestern League, had an assist as the combined Midwestern/Western squad edged the Golden Horseshoe/Western team 5-4 in the first Greater Ontario Hockey League Prospects Game.
“That year back (in midget), a lot of people would take it as a setback,” said Bartliff, who spent 2006-07 with the Huron-Perth triple-A Lakers midgets and ultimately played a few games for the Cyclones.
“But I took it as a building point to improve all my skills and come and have a great year this year. And I’ve just worked my hardest to do that.
“I just kept digging deep and I feel it’s paid off.”
The opportunity to get some games in with Listowel last year helped prepare Bartliff for the current campaign, where he’s scored 27 goals in 37 games. His 44 points rank fifth in the league.
“You knew what to expect out there and you knew how hard you hard to work over the summer to build your skill in general and come out there and be an impact player,” said the Clinton native.
“I really enjoy (Listowel). It’s a great group of kids, a great coaching staff. Hopefully we can win everything.”
Bartliff was honoured after the game with a scholarship to the Ontario Hockey Association High Performance Program, which aims to educate prospects about opportunities within a three-day camp.
“It’s a great honour to be chosen for it (and) it looks like a great opportunity to see how hard you have to work to get to the next level,” said Bartliff, a Sarnia Sting draft pick (2006), who has drawn interest from some U.S. schools and is keeping his options open.
“They’re both really great routes and I’m just going to choose whichever one I think suits me at the time,” he said.
One of the quicker players in the league, Bartliff wasn’t out of place in the fast-placed, end-to-end action that featured excellent passing and some stellar netminding.