2004-05: John Kurtz skated for the Oakville Rangers minor midget AAA team in Ontario. He scored 30 goals with 32 assists and 61 penalty minutes in 54 games. Kurtz was selected by the Windsor Spitfires in the fifth round (86th overall) of the 2005 OHL Priority Draft.
2005-06: Kurtz played junior A hockey with the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Burlington Cougars. In 42 games he scored 7 goals with 11 assists and 34 penalty minutes.
2006-07: Kurtz skated in 58 games for the Windsor Spitfires in his first OHL season. He scored 8 goals with 7 assists and was -15 with 31 penalty minutes. Windsor had the OHL’s second-worst record, finishing last in the West Division.
2007-08: Kurtz was invited to the Detroit Red Wings training camp before returning to the OHL for his second season. Obtained by Sudbury in a September trade with the Spitfires, Kurtz played in 63 of 68 games for the Wolves. He scored 12 goals with 16 assists and was -19 with 41 penalty minutes. Sudbury finished last in the Central Division and had the OHL’s worst record.
2008-09: Kurtz was named a team captain and was the Wolves’ third-leading scorer in his second season with Sudbury. Skating in all 68 regular season games he scored 21 goals with 33 assists and was +15 with 44 penalty minutes. The Wolves made the playoffs despite finishing last in the Central Division and took Belleville to six games in a first round series. Kurtz scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes in six playoff games.
2009-10: Kurtz attended Toronto’s training camp but was not signed and returned to the OHL for an overage season. He made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch in April after captaining Sudbury and scoring 30 goals with the Wolves. He scored 1 goal and was -2 with 7 penalty minutes in six AHL games. Kurtz also had 16 assists in 62 games for Sudbury and was -14 with 59 penalty minutes. The Wolves were swept by Barrie in the first round after finishing last in the Central Division for the third straight season. Kurtz had 1 assist and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes in four OHL playoff games.
2010-11: Kurtz was invited to the Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp but did not receive a contract and signed with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch; briefly playing for the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals in his first pro season. Kurtz scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was third on the Crunch with 102 penalty minutes — finishing -15 — in 49 AHL games. Syracuse missed the playoffs after finishing sixth in the East Division. Kurtz scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +2 in eight ECHL games for Elmira.
2011-12: Kurtz split the season between the AHL and ECHL and was hampered by a pre-season injury that limited him to 31 games in his second pro season. He was signed by Syracuse in December and in 12 games with the Crunch he scored 1 goal with 40 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus. Kurtz played 19 ECHL games for Elmira. He scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was -2 with 30 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Kurtz was signed to an AHL contract by Anaheim affiliate Norfolk and appeared in 59 games — the most of his three-year pro career — with the Admirals. He scored 3 goals with 5 assists and had an even plus/minus with 103 penalty minutes. Norfolk finished two points out of a playoff spot behind Hershey in the East Division. Kurtz signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Ducks in April 2013.
2013-14: Kurtz was an assistant captain for the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals and was briefly re-called by Anaheim in the final week of the regular season but did not appear in any NHL games. In 72 games for Norfolk he scored 5 goals with 7 assists and was -7 with 112 penalty minutes. Kurtz signed a one-year contract extension with Anaheim in January 2014.
Kurtz is a heart-and-soul energy player with limited offensive ability. John Kurtz remains a bottom line mainstay and fighter for the Admirals. He chips in the occasional goal but is mainly an energy-bringing role and character player. He is a willing combatant who stands up for teammates and is unafraid to use his body.
Kurtz attended training camp with the Anaheim Ducks before being assigned to AHL affiliate Norfolk at the start of the 2014-15 season. Now in his fifth season of pro hockey, Kurtz has a limited upside but understands his role and plays it to the best of his ability.