“Fearsome Young Sharks” Prospect Profile – Sean Kuraly

Photo courtesy of Alexander Zimmermann {@Alex_Z_Sharkie}

On the second day of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks traded their fourth round pick {119th overall} to the Winnipeg Jets for their fourth round {133rd overall} and seventh round {194th overall} picks.  With the 133rd pick, the Sharks selected forward Sean Kuraly {@Kurals7} of the United States Hockey League‘s {USHL} Indiana Ice.

“I try to model my game after someone like {Nashville Predators centre} Mike Fisher,” said Kuraly in an interview with Neate Sager for a June 17 Yahoo Sports article.  “I watch him and I like the way he plays both ends of the ice – hard, physical and a character guy.”

Originally from Lewiston N.Y., Kuraly was raised in Dublin, OH, where he developed his hockey skills by playing against some of the top competition nationally and internationally in the Ohio Blue Jackets AAA program, which was founded in 2004 by Program Coordinator Ed Gingher.

A 15th round {283rd overall} selection by the Plymouth Whalers in the 2009 Ontario Hockey League {OHL} Priority Selection, Kuraly led the Ohio Blue Jackets AAA U-18 team in scoring for the 2009-10 season by registering 78 points on 31 goals and 47 assists in only 48 games played.

In addition, Kuraly enjoyed two call-ups with the Ice where he registered three points on one goal and two assists in five games played.  Kuraly also played in four games with USA’s National Team Development Program {USNTDP} U-17 squad, registering three points at the Vlad Dzurilla Tournament in Slovakia.

On May 26, 2010, the Ohio Blue Jackets AAA website announced that Kuraly verbally committed to play for the Miami {Ohio} Redhawks, where his father, Rick, played from 1979-83 and holds the records for most career goals {101}, power play goals {36} and most goals in a game {five}.

“Sean’s dad {Rick} is the all-time goal scoring leader here at Miami so he is the first alum’s son to come back and play for us and we are really looking forward to him joining us,” said Redhawks head coach Enrico Blasi in a Nov. 11, 2010 interview with the Redhawks website.  “He’s big, he’s strong, he can skate, and does a little bit of everything.  He can score goals, he can make plays and he can play a power forward role if he wants to.  He is really going to fit in nicely.”

Added Gingher on the Ohio Blue Jackets AAA website, “Sean is a tremendous player and it is very exciting to see him accept a scholarship to play at Miami University, a place where his dad {Rick} played.  Sean is the hardest practicing player I have ever coached and his success is a testament to his hard work.  We are very proud of him.”

Kuraly though, is in no hurry to make the jump from the USHL to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association {CCHA} as he will be returning to the Ice to further polish his hockey skills.

“I want the offensive side of my game to be more fine-tuned before I go to college,” said Kuraly in the Sager article.  “I’m looking forward to a big year next year with Indiana and I can’t wait to get back to that team.”

This past season, Kuraly’s first in the USHL, Kuraly registered 29 points for the Ice on eight goals, four of which were shorthanded {league leading} , and 21 assists to go along with 45 penalty minutes in 51 regular season games played.  In the Ice’s five playoff games, Kuraly registered two points on one goal and one assist.

“It was a good season,” said Kuraly in the Sager article.  “I had a lot of fun there.  Obviously, it started off a bit slow after moving away from home and being in a new league with a lot of older guys.  I pulled it together and at the end of the year I played a lot closer to where I wanted to.  I’m excited for next year and what it holds for me.”

Prior to the start of his first USHL season, Kuraly was selected for the U.S. U-18 Select Team in Aug. 2010 and played in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where he scored a goal and helped lead Team USA to a silver medal.

While Kuraly has enjoyed playing most of his hockey career close to home in the midwest, Kuraly is open to a cross country move to the west coast once his tenure at Miami {Ohio} University is complete.

“I’ve been to California a couple of times, but it could be a pretty cool change, and maybe I’ll even like it more,” said Kuraly in a June 28 interview for an article on the Indiana Ice website.  “They’ve clearly got something special going there, with making the a playoff run every year and going deep, and I hope I get a chance to one day put on that jersey.”

When the day comes that Kuraly does bring his talents to the Sharks, he will also be bringing several assets along with him.

“I’d say a little bit of character and leadership in the locker room, that’s definitely something I bring,” said Kuraly in the Sager article.  “A pretty dynamic skill set, hopefully – a solid two-way centreman who can put some pucks in the back of the net and help the team win.”

HIGHLIGHTS

Sean Kuraly USHL Highlight Video  {Courtesy of YouTube user “USHLInteractive”}

Sean Kuraly interview with Blue Jackets website  {Courtesy of YouTube user “BlueJacketsNHL”}

Sean Kuraly post draft interview  {Courtesy of YouTube user “USHLinteractive”}

*Videos and information were used from sports.yahoo.com, www.hockeysfuture.com, bluejackets.nhl.com, www.hockeydb.com, www.indianaice.com, www.wikipedia.com, leagueathletics.com, www.redskinwarriors.com, sharks.nhl.com ,www.muredhawks.com, and www.youtube.com for this post entry.*

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on July 13, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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