Ontario Hockey League grad John Kurtz has joined up with Cole Jarrett, Ryan Martinelli and Kevin Raine on a Belfast Giants team coached by Adam Keefe. The former member of the Windsor Spitfires and Sudbury Wolves has appeared in his first two games with the EIHL club after spending 2016-17 split between the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL and the Norfolk Admirals in the ECHL.
John Kurtz played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2006-07 to 2009-10. His first year was spent with the Windsor Spitifires. A trade just prior to the start of the 2007-08 sent him to Sudbury, along with Marco Maggio and a draft pick. Windsor originally drafted him in the fifth round of the 2005 OHL Priority Selection, 86th overall.
Over his four years, Kurtz scored 71 goals and assisted on 72 for 143 points over 251 regular season games. In the playoffs, he was reduced to just ten games, adding three points. He was team captain for the Wolves in his final two seasons, earning the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy in 2009-10.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, John played his first pro hockey in 2009-10. He appeared in six games in the American Hockey League with the Syracuse Crunch after Sudbury was swept by the Barrie Colts in the opening round of the OHL playoffs.
Since 2010-11, Kurtz had played exclusively in the ECHL and AHL until the start of this season. With the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL in 2014-15, he finished eighth in the league with 188 penalty minutes. Uncharacteristic of his younger self, John never sat more than 58 PIM in an OHL season.
This past season, 2016-17, John played in 17 AHL games with the Crunch and 26 ECHL games with the Norfolk Admirals. He is signed with the Belfast Giants of the EIHL for the 2017-18 campaign.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants have been around since 2000-01, moving from the BISL to the EIHL for the 2003-04 season. Despite their perennial success, the Giants have just one playoff championship, 2009-10. They lost in the final in 2012-13 and 2013-14. In 2016-17, Belfast placed second in the ten team league over the regular season and were bounced in the semi-final.
Adam Keefe takes over as head coach for 2017-18 after playing for the team from 2011-12 to 2016-17. Most of that time, Keefe wore the ‘C’. Adam played five years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2000-01 to 2004-05 with the Sudbury Wolves and Kitchener Rangers.
Other OHL alumni in the lineup include Cole Jarrett, Ryan Martinelli and Kevin Raine. Jarrett played four years from 1999-00 to 2002-03 with the Plymouth Whalers. Martinelli played for the London Knights from 2004-05 to 2006-07. Raine played four years in the OHL from 2010-11 to 2013-14 with the Knights and Wolves.
John Kurtz OHL Stats