On Tuesday morning, the Boston Bruins signed Karson Kuhlman to a two-year extension. The contract is worth $1.5 million and has a cap hit of $725,000. The extension is also a two-way deal in the first year and a one-way in the second year. With Kuhlman’s future now secured, the Bruins only remaining free agents are Zdeno Chara and Jake Debrusk. Although Kuhlman has a new deal, he still has room to improve as he tries to secure a spot on the Bruins roster.
The Bruins originally signed Kuhlman as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Since then, Kuhlman has spent time between the AHL and NHL. In 36 regular-season games for the Bruins, the Minnesota native has scored four goals and recorded seven assists. The twenty-five-year-old has also appeared in 13 playoff games and recorded three points.
Additionally, Kuhlman has not been afraid to sacrifice his body during his brief NHL career. Over the past two seasons with the Bruins, he has landed 42 hits and blocked 12 shots. Kuhlman has also been careful with the puck as he only has eight giveaways so far in his NHL career. While those qualities are critical to the Bruins organization, Kuhlman is now at a crucial point in his career.
— Mike Cratty (@Mike_Cratty) June 9, 2020
Entering the 2021 season, Kuhlman will need to improve offensively. During Kuhlman’s NHL career, he has attempted 106 shots but only has four goals. In five games during the Bruins 2019-2020 playoff run, Kuhlman failed to record a point as the Bruins offense struggled. As they look to return to the postseason, improvement from players like Kuhlman will be essential.
As Kuhlman looks to improve his game, he will need to elevate the puck and get more chances in front of the net. In the playoffs, Kuhlman had a few good rushes but could not elevate the puck and cash in. With many prospects such as Trent Frederic awaiting their chance in Providence, the Minnesota native does not have much room for error.
Karson Kuhlman turned on the JETS pic.twitter.com/Uf3CBgLWju
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) September 1, 2020
When the Bruins began the 2021 campaign, Kuhlman will mostly see time in the bottom six. There will also be more pressure on the Bruins forwards to produce with the departure of Torey Krug. While Kuhlman has the speed to create scoring chances, he has to work on his finish. Although the season is still three months away the Bruins roster could look different when January comes around. That is why the next couple of months will be key for Kuhlman and he tries to secure a spot.
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