2009-10: Kurtis Gabriel played for the Markham Waxers midget AA team in Ontario.
2010-11: Gabriel made OHL Owen Sound as a free agent after being spotted in a junior C tryout a few weeks before the Attack’s camp. A healthy scratch at times, he appeared in 40 games for the Attack, scoring 1 goal with 3 assists and was -2 with 20 penalty minutes. Gabriel did not play in any games during Owen Sound’s OHL championship playoff run but made his post-season debut in the Memorial Cup, playing in Owen Sound’s final two games.
2011-12: Gabriel attended the Phoenix Coyotes’ rookie camp before returning to Owen Sound for his second season with the Attack. A two-way forward on an Attack team with several high profile offensive prospects, he scored 4 goals with 13 assists in 65 games and was +4 with 72 penalty minutes. Owen Sound slipped to third in the Midwest Division after their Memorial Cup run the previous spring and lost to Kitchener in a five-game first round playoff series. Gabriel played in three playoff games and was +1 with no points or penalty minutes.
2012-13: Gabriel scored a career-high 13 goals while accumulating 100 penalty minutes in 67 games in his third season with Owen Sound. He also had 15 assists and finished the year +14. Owen Sound finished second to OHL champion London in the Midwest Division; advancing to the second round in the playoffs. Gabriel scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was an even plus/minus with 34 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. In his third year of draft eligibility, he was not among the 210 North American skaters listed in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft. He was drafted as a 20-year-old by Minnesota in the third round (81st overall).
2013-14: Gabriel attended training camp with the Wild before returning to Owen Sound for an overage season and made his pro debut with Minnesota AHL affiliate Iowa in April 2014. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was minus-2 in eight AHL games. Gabriel was the third-leading scorer for Owen Sound in his fourth OHL season behind Holden Cook and Zach Nastasiuk (DET). In 60 regular season games he scored 16 goals with 35 assists and was +3 with 99 penalty minutes. The Attack finished fourth in the Midwest Division and lost to Sault Ste. Marie in the first round of the playoffs. Gabriel had 1 assist and was minus-1 with 22 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Minnesota in March 2014.
Gabriel is a player who was drafted for his character and strong work ethic. He has good size and decent awareness, but not much offense.
Gabriel competed for the Wild in the Traverse City rookie tournament and made a push for an NHL roster during training camp before being assigned to AHL affiliate Iowa to start the 2014-15 season. In his first year of pro hockey he has been more focused on the physical side of the game, providing an element of toughness and a willingness to fight when challenged. His offensive output has been limited and he has been a defensive liability at times. Those areas could improve as he gains experience. Long-term he projects as an energy-type forward capable of scoring on occasion.