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-1 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 minus-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.
2013-14: Kurker played 12 games for Boston University as a sophomore — leaving school in January to play for Indiana in the USHL. He scored 1 goal and was minus-2 with 14 penalty minutes while skating for the Terriers. Kurker scored 6 goals with 8 assists and was plus-3 with 45 penalty minutes in 24 regular season games with the Ice. Indiana finished first in the Eastern Conference and won the USHL’s Clark Cup; defeating Western Conference champ Waterloo in the finals. Kurker scored 3 goals with 3 assists and was plus-4 with 6 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. Indiana suspended operations following the season and Kurker signed with Sioux City for the 2014-15 season in May 2014.
Kurker is a power forward-type player with a bit of offensive ability and some grit to his game. He doesn't create offense with skill but rather more via his size and hustle. After being overwhelmed a bit in making the jump directly from prep school to college hockey, Kurker has been scoring consistently at the USHL level as a 20-year-old. He will have an opportunity to prove he can compete at a higher level when he skates for Northeastern University in 2015-16.
Kurker is skating for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers as a 20-year-old in 2014-15 after winning a USHL championship with the now-inactive Indiana Ice last spring. He was one of the leading scorers when the Musketeers won a bronze medal at the World Club Tournament over the summer and has continued putting up numbers during the USHL season. In October 2014 he announced that he committed to playing his final two years of college hockey at Northeastern beginning in 2015-16. Kurker was viewed as a bit of a long-term project when he was drafted by the Blues in 2012. While his route to pro hockey has been a circuitous one there is some talent and more should be known about his long-term potential when he joins the Huskies next season.