Tom Kurvers was a pure offensive defenceman with outstanding passing skills and a quick release from the point. In his eleven years in the NHL he was a considered a positive influence on the ice and in the dressing room.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he scored 175 points in four seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth between 1980 and 1984. His talent was noticed by the Montreal Canadiens who drafted him 145th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.
In 1982 Kurvers represented the United States at the World Junior Championships. His senior year was the most individually rewarding as he scored 76 points and was the recipient of the Hobey Baker Award as the top U.S. collegiate player. Kurvers was also placed on the WCHA first all-star team and the NCAA West first All-American team.
Kurvers enjoyed a fine rookie season with the Habs in 1984-85 when he played a regular shift and scored 45 points. By the start of his third year in Montreal, Kurvers was caught in a numbers game a traded to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2nd- round draft pick. He scored 23 points for the Sabres down the stretch in 1986-87 then played for the U.S. at that year's World Championships.
An off-season deal in 1987 brought Kurvers to New Jersey where his offense sparked the Devils to an improbable playoff run that finished one game short of the Stanley Cup final. That year Kurvers was the second-highest scoring blueliner in the post-season with 15 points in nineteen games. The next year he recorded a personal high 66 points but, by 1989-90, was considered expendable when the Devils opted to use Bruce Driver to quarterback the power-play.
Early in the 1989-90 season, Kurvers was shipped to Toronto for a first-round pick that became Scott Niedermayer. The Maple Leafs had too many offensive players who could not cope with the tight checking of the post-season. Kurvers was dispatched to Vancouver in 1990-91 and later played with the New York Islanders and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Before retiring he played the 1995-96 season in Japan with the Seibu Tetsudo club of Tokyo. Kurvers was never a defensive stalwart but he played to his strengths and, when paired with the right person, could be very effective. He finished with 421 points in 659 career games.