Both season Kurka played in the OHL, Plymouth went to the Robertson Cup finals. In his first year, the Whalers lost to the Barrie Colts in seven games. In his second, they were on the losing end of a six game series with the Ottawa 67’s. In his rookie season, Tomas led the Ontario Hockey League’s first year players with 36 goals. He was named to the OHL’s and CHL’s All-Rookie Teams.
After his first season with Plymouth, Kurka was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, 32nd overall. Tomas spent his first three years of pro hockey in Carolina’s system, mostly with their AHL affiliate, the Lowell Lock Monsters. However, in 2002-03 he dressed for 14 games with the NHL squad and played an additional three with the Hurricanes the following season.
After starting the 2004-05 season in his native Czech Republic then returning the the AHL’s Providence Bruins to finish out the season, Kurka was back in Europe to stay for the 2005-06 season. Tomas has spent time in Finland’s SM-Liiga, Switzerland’s National League A and Sweden’s Allsvenskan. He has been in the Czech Extraliga since the 2007-08 season.
Kurka started the 2010-11 season with HC Sparta Praha (Prague) and was recently loaned to HC Pardubice.
Tomas Kurka was featured in these two previous posts at OHL Alumni Central:
OHL Grads Competing Against Canada at the Spengler Cup
HC Slavia Praha Home to 5 Ontario Hockey League Grads in 2009-10