Monday, January 13, 2014

Sam Kurker leaves Boston University

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

Sam Kurker has left Boston University, a source confirmed with The Daily Free Press.

The move comes about a month after the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League added Kurker to their roster. He is believed to be headed there to continue his hockey career.

When BU returned from its winter break earlier this month, coach David Quinn laughed off the idea that Kurker was going to leave BU in favor of juniors, saying that both Kurker and freshman wing Brendan Collier, who was also added to a USHL roster in December, were "pissed."

"There was nothing to it from [the players'] end of it, there was nothing to it from our end of it," Quinn said Jan. 2. "I know people raise an eyebrow when they see it, but you will see them both in the lineup for BU at Harvard against Harvard.

"It didn’t really matter to me and it didn’t really matter to them. It is just something that happens in the hockey world and you just move on from it. People probably look at rosters and think, ‘Hey, he’s not playing a lot. Maybe he will jump.’ There was nothing to it."

Kurker, a sophomore forward who has struggled to stay in the lineup this season, played in the Terriers' most recent game, Saturday against the University of Maine at Frozen Fenway, a 7-3 loss. He was the fourth-line center, registering zero shots while taking his seventh penalty of the season.

He had one goal and no assists in 12 games as a sophomore.

The mid-season departure comes at a bad time for the Terriers, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games. They have not won since a Nov. 30 matchup with Cornell at Madison Square Garden, and have been outscored by a combined 18-9 in three games in 2014.

BU is also without forwards Jake Moscatel and Evan Rodrigues, as well as defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, all of whom are out injured and have no public timetable to return.

That leaves Quinn with 17 healthy skaters. A college team usually plays 18.

A Reading resident and St. John's Prep product, Kurker was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (56th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He collected five points (three goals, two assists) in 35 games during his freshman campaign.

The family declined to comment.

The BC Hockey Blog was the first to report the news.

34 comments:

  1. Seriously? BC's hockey blog gets more insight about our players than we do?

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  2. Adios, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Talk about a huge disappointment. Can't wait for next two years when some real talent comes. As in Jack Eichel.

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  3. kurker gone... Nice what a stiff. let's clean house. hope collier goes next. another kid who could not even play for salem state

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  4. Here comes the bashing of Kurker just because he's no longer on the team. Pathetic.

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    1. Not bashing him, but will say I expected more from a 2nd round pick.

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  5. There seems to be a disconnect of being at a world class institution and getting an education while advancing a hockey career. My daughter just game me a auto bio of Chris Nilan who went to Northeastern. When his career was over in the NHL he had nowhere to turn for a career. He left Northeastern after his Junior year with no plan for a life outside of hockey. Even though he earned a good income for twelve years he had no idea of a career. He tried lower minor league assignments and left. His life broke down with drinking and drugs. This has happened to a few ex BU guys. When recruiting the recruits should be told we (BU) will get you on a possible career path even if you stay two years. This may help in getting kids who want to be here for an education and a hockey career.
    I hope we have some club players available as the squad is now at the dangerous level as far a maybe having to play players with minor injuries. The NCAA MUST give more than 18 scholarships or there should be a law suit started.

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    1. Parker always told his team that most of them will never make it to the NHL. Sometimes, people just have to take personal responsibility.

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  6. Does Eichel even stay more than a year or two at this point? One player isn't going to change BU's fate if there is a deeper problem here. Kudos to Tim Healey for finding this.

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    1. He stays at least a year. Plus, there are some amazing recruits coming. I don't think there is a deeper problem. None of these players on this team are Quinn's recruits.

      This is from OTB: "This month’s top recruiting efforts clearly are coming from Comm Ave, but the depth charts are tilting towards Agganis Arena this time around as the Terriers picked up three major recruiting targets in the span of one early November week. Terriers coach Steve Greeley, who spent the last few years scouting for the LA Kings, secured the commitments of top 2015 prospects 97 D Vas Kolias and 96 F Maxim Letunov for his alma mater as well as an equally big 2014 get in Shattuck’s 96 F Chase Phelps. Boston College, Michigan and Yale all had late stabs to pick up major uncommitted targets as the month came to a close, but this is just too good of a swing for the Terriers."

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  7. Geez, ease up. It's not like the kid didn't try. He just wasn't ready for D-1 hockey. Collier is still a freshman and I think he still has a shot at becoming an impact player.

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  8. Friend_of_BU_HockeyJanuary 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    It's unfortunate the BU/Kurker match didn't work out. As posted before, making the jump immediately out of MA high school hockey to Hockey East is much more difficult than it used be. The level of talent and competition in MA high school hockey isn't what it used to be. Over the past 10-15 years, playing either Juniors (USHL, EJHL, etc.) or prep school (St. Sebs, Kimball Union, Cushing, Avon Old Farms, etc.) has become the much stronger development path to college hockey.

    Even the best of the best MA HS players are playing at least a year of Junior or prep school hockey after playing in HS. There are also many who make the transition to playing in prep school or Junior at age 15 or 16, knowing that the better level of competition will enhance their potential to play (and succeed) in Division 1 college hockey.

    Watching Kurker play the last 1.5 seasons, it became increasingly clear that he was not yet ready. After he was recruited (http://www.thebostonhockeyblog.com/2011/08/another-new-england-native-commits-to.html) and finished his HS career, there was some back-and-forth between BU and Kurker regarding when he should come to BU. I believe at the time BU wanted Kurker to play a year in Juniors and arrive as a Freshman this year. However, Kurker wanted to come to BU right away and there were rumors of him contemplating decommitting if BU had pushed back his arrival to Fall 2013.

    IIRC, there were several forwards who were recruited around the same time as Kurker who were projected as either a 2012 or 2013 arrival based on their readiness and the team's needs. This included Kurker, O'Regan, Baillargeon, Collier, and Jarrid Privitera. Unfortunately Kurker showed he wasn't ready to play at this level and BU looks bad again for having another player depart mid-season.

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  9. I agree with the last poster which is why i have disdain fro the kid. bu wanted him to wait which was best for his development and BU, but the kid thought he was all that and threaten BU with decommitment. talk about having a false sense of self and inflated ego.

    as for collier, he does not have the baggage of kurker, but he is SO ineffective. i say cut the ties

    this year is lost. i am hoping by 2015 we can put on the ice a formidable team
    i am not pissed that he left. this is not like coyle. i am glad kurker left so we can use his scholarship and we don't have to watch 2 more years of his ineptitude

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  10. that career path angle sounds good in theory, but in truth any of the real good players just want to turn pro, so education has little sway for them. sad but true

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  11. No one is to blame for Sam Kurker leaving other than Kurker. He may be a nice kid from a nice family, but he was not ready to play D 1 hockey when he came last year. Despite playing under 2 different coaches, he was unable to make any progress. He played in 35 games last year and did nothing. He played in 12 or so games this year and did less. He forced the issue to come to BU last year when he was not ready, -- too many press clippings. Kurker going to the Indiana Ice is a step forward for BU. One more scholarship available. Let David Quinn select his own players. He did pretty well as one of the prime recruiters of the 2009 team.

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    1. Kurker played an important role in our HE tournament runner up team. Too bad he (along with most oft he team) regressed under DQ.

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    2. After seeing how the players have regressed this year, does Eichel still really want to come? We really need him.

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    3. The sum is greater than the parts - if Eichel doesn't come then he'll be treated the same way Kurker is now. His loss, not our loss.

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  12. Kurker's Problem was Kurker himself. had some issues with JVW in taking too many stupid penalties. Unfortunately Dad was one of the coaches. Went to SJP and was too much of a ME player, had some issues with fellow players , was a grape vine report. Not a very good passer, tries to do everything himself.
    Other HS teams shut him down when it came time.
    Hate to break it to everyone , but one of the front office Personal for the Blues is a SJP alumni, coincidence why he was picked so early? You put 2 and 2 together.
    I hope this kid gets his act together, too much talent (yet raw) to see go away.

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    1. Friend_of_BU_HockeyJanuary 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      "Went to SJP and was too much of a ME player, had some issues with fellow players , was a grape vine report."

      Heard same concern from someone with inside knowledge when the back-and-forth between BU and Kurker was taking place regarding when he should arrive at BU. However, never heard anything negative about Kurker's attitude/conduct during his time at BU.

      Kurker's an example of a big fish in a small pond who struggled to adapt in bigger environment.

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  13. how refreshing it was to read this blog UNTIL the troll showed up as Anonymous at 5:13 and 5:22.
    Ok then, carry on.

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    1. It was refreshing to read BU "fans" bash Kurker just because he was no longer in the program?

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  14. 1. Get rid of the troll. He is not BU.
    2. Get used to the idea that this is down year and that DQ must be given adequate time to bring in his own players. So no complaining! Grin and bear it and support BU Hockey.
    3. Get used to the idea that if we want a national championship caliber team year in and year out, we must accept players who will only stay 2 years. They are the talented players who will get to the Frozen Four, win HE championships and Beanpots. You cannot blame them for taking the Pro money. There is nothing wrong with a very talented player (e.g. Tony Amonte) staying for 2 years and then securing his future by signing a pro contract. And, for 2 years, weren't Amonte and Tkachuk a pleasure to watch.

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    1. Interesting how Maine's new coach had no issue coaching up the poor players he inherited. His best move may have been to tell Roberto that he didn't fit the Maine mold of a player. Maybe we should hired him instead of DQ.

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  15. Are you guys checking out this recruiting? this latest kid, hickey, sounds great. patience boys and girls. this dog house is being rebuilt. greeley is a ridonkulous recruiter

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    1. I'm sure he is,DQ IS THE CLOSER....

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    2. It was QUINN who took Hickey,Mom & Dad out to dinner,I was 1 table over...a few days later,he committed to BU....

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  16. What's wrong with Rodrigues?

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    1. Friend_of_BU_HockeyJanuary 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Lower-body injury suffered in the January 4th game at Harvard.

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  17. Ticket office have any more tix for BC?

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  18. love the timing, leaving when the team is in need of bodies because of all the injuries...more importantly, when he actually has a chance (by default) to prove he deserves the ice time he wants

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  19. He obviously was not ready for D 1 hockey at any school.But,he had all the hype,and being a 2nd round pick,maybe went to his head.I hear he is a hard working,good kid.But when someone like Jack Parker advises you to play a year in the Juniors,and then ignore that advice,is this such a surprise?I think not...good luck to him.

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  20. I played with Kurker, he really is a good player but everyones right, was not ready for hockey east play. His size is what got him 56th overall and in my opinion very overrated.

    In the locker room he had the im better than everyone else attitude and you can see it on the ice with little passing and taking stupid penalties.

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  21. OK all of you so called BU fans......everyone here at BU seems to love an athlete and a team and claim an "we are a family" attitude, UNTIL something like this happens. Then, seems you have no problem ripping someone apart. I am ashamed....This is HOCKEY, a sport...where the values are learning, growing, being a team....JUST let this go. Be positive for the current players and not so hurtful and negative about this one person. He is a young man who like all of us is learning as he goes....enough already. Go to the games, support the kids on the ice and be positive. How do you think the other players feel when they see you shred one of them at the drop of a dime with such fervor. NONE of us knows a full story here so STOP speculating
    MOVE on...best of everything to Sam.

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  22. Kurker fell victim to New Englands High school hockey die hards, the globe, and SJP $.

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