Windsor, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Windsor Spitfires hockey club held a media conference today to announce John Kurtz of the Sudbury Wolves as the second ever recipient of the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy.
Kurtz, a 20-year-old from Oakville, ON, played four OHL seasons beginning in 2006-07 as a member of the Windsor Spitfires where he was teammates with Renaud. He played his final three seasons with the Wolves and served as team captain the last two years. Kurtz continued to wear Renaud’s number 18 sticker on his own helmet throughout his OHL career.
Kurtz was unanimously chosen by a selection committee as the OHL team captain that best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, with a passion and dedication to the game of hockey and his community that Mickey demonstrated. The selection committee consisted of a media panel of four, representing each of the four OHL divisions.
“When I came into the OHL in Windsor, Mickey was the first guy to make me feel comfortable,” said Kurtz. “As a younger guy I really looked up to him and wanted to pattern my game after him. I was really happy when I saw this award presented last year, and am really honoured to win it this year.”
Kurtz was also the Wolves’ nominee for the Dan Snyder Memorial Award as OHL Humanitarian of the Year. He attended many fundraising events on behalf of the Wolves organization, and volunteered at community schools and at a local home for the developmentally challenged. He has won numerous team awards including the Wolves Most Popular Player Award, Most Improved Player Award, and was the Scholastic Player of the Month twice this season.
“John learned from Mickey’s leadership and always tried to exemplify his qualities to the younger players on the Sudbury Wolves hockey team” said Wolves General Manager Mike Foligno in his award nomination form. “His calming qualities and his confidence are attributes that other players respect. He has been an excellent role model for many hockey players on our team and in the community. We are truly thankful for having the opportunity to have known and worked with John.”
On the ice, Kurtz finished this season with a career-high 30 goals including a team-high 10 goals scored on the power play. He also added 16 assists for 46 points in 62 games. He scored his first career hat-trick November 20 as first star of a 3-0 win over the Saginaw Spirit.
The selection committee reviewed nomination forms submitted by OHL General Managers on behalf of their individual team captains. Nomination forms listed the characteristics of each captain both on and off the ice which demonstrate his strengths and commitment as a leader. Dedication to work in the community, as well as special team and league achievements and awards received through hockey, education, and community service were also considered.
Kurtz will be formally presented with the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony June 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
2009-10 Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy Nominees
Barrie – Stefan Della Rovere
Belleville – Luke Judson
Brampton – Cody Hodgson
Erie – Zack Torquato
Guelph – Corey Syvret
Kingston – Brian Lashoff
Kitchener – Dan Kelly
London – Justin Taylor
Mississauga – Cameron Gaunce
Niagara – Andrew Agozzino
Oshawa – Jeff Hayes
Ottawa – Julien Demers
Owen Sound – Marcus Carroll
Plymouth – AJ Jenks
Saginaw – Tyler Murovich
Sarnia – Nathan Chiarlitti
Sault Ste. Marie – Jacob Muzzin
Sudbury – John Kurtz
Windsor – Harry Young
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)