2009-10: A product of the Valley Junior Warriors youth program in Massachusetts, Sam Kurker skated for the varsity team at St. John's Prep in Massachusetts as a sophomore.
2010-11: Kurker skated for the Junior Bruins AAA tournament team and was the third-leading scorer for St. John's Prep as a junior. He scored 20 goals with 17 assists. In the Super 8 playoffs he scored 2 goals with 5 assists as St. John's reached the Super 8 championship game, falling to Malden Catholic in overtime.
2011-12: Kurker was a team captain for St. John's Prep as a senior after attending USA Hockey's Select 17 Camp and representing the USA at the 2011 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. In 24 games for St. John's he scored 32 goals with 28 assists. In three games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament he was plus-one with 4 penalty minutes. Kurker committed to playing college hockey at Boston University. He was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked 36th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Kurker played 35 games for Boston University as a freshman. Skating much of the season on the third line with senior Ben Rosen and fellow freshman Matthew Lane, he scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -10; finishing third on the Terriers with 61 penalty minutes. Boston University finished tied for third in Hockey East but did not receive an NCAA tournament bid despite falling to first-place Massachusetts-Lowell, 1-0, in the Hockey East Championship Game.
Kurker is a candidate to be a power forward with a bit of offensive ability and some grit to his game. Kurker doesn't create offense with skill but rather more via his size and hustle. His game is not fully developed at this time, and it is unlikely he'll be a player that relies on skill to generate offense. Instead, Kurker will patrol the wing and drive to the net to create offense. He'll need to work on his defensive game, and he has to prove that he can compete at a higher level of the game than prep school hockey.
Kurker played his first season of college hockey in 2012-13. While his offensive numbers were nothing special, Kurker will have another three years to develop his skill before making the jump to the pros. He will need to improve his offensive skills and become a reliable two-way center in 2013-14.