After a whirlwind Saturday morning, Sam Kurker had one thing on his mind — lunch.
The St. John’s Prep standout was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (56th overall) of the NHL draft. He was in attendance at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center with his family to hear his name called. After meeting with the media, a quick photo session and a meet-greet with new Blues owner Tom Stillman, head coach Ken Hitchcock and staff, the Reading, Mass., native had his first chance of the day to grab some grub.
“It’s been such a crazy day,” Kurker said during a post-lunch phone interview Saturday afternoon.
Kurker wrapped up his senior season with the Eagles as an ESPN Boston MIAA All-State first-teamer, scoring 32 goals with 28 assists for 60 points.
After the season, Kurker’s schedule remained full, fitting in interviews with prospective teams (he said he met with 25 teams) and attending the NHL combine. The 6-foot-2 inch, 210-pound winger called it a “stressful” experience.
“It’s tough,” Kurker said of the pre-draft gauntlet. “Between the combine and all the meetings, it’s tough. I tried to do the best in everything that I did because you want to leave a good impression on the teams.”
So Saturday came with a big sigh of relief.
“Looking at the draft board, you can guess where you might go, but you never know until it happens,” Kurker said. “But I’m very happy where I ended up. I felt most comfortable with St. Louis from the start.”
Kurker first sat down with Blues regional scout Vince Montalbano and then met with the entire staff at the combine.
He was looking forward to meeting some of his new teammates at the Blues' development camp, which will be held in July. But there’s no rest for Kurker. He realizes the process has just begun, and he’s already shifted his attention to joining Jack Parker’s BU Terriers next season.
“Going to BU, the goal is to a win a national title. With all those guys going [in the draft], hopefully we can do that.”
The Terriers had eight recruits taken in this year’s draft, several of whom have local ties, including Brendan Collier, Matt Grzelcyk, Danny O’Regan and Doyle Somerby.
“It’s great because there are a lot of local kids in that group and I think we all bring tough attitudes,” Kurker said. “I’m so excited to get going there.”