Boston Bruins: Karson Kuhlman needs to live up to his potential

Boston Bruins, Karson Kuhlman #83 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Karson Kuhlman #83 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Coming into this season, it looked like Karson Kuhlman may have carved out a spot for himself on the Boston Bruins second line.

Such was his performance as a late arrival in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, it seemed that Karson Kuhlman was all but a guarantee to stick with the Boston Bruins, but it wasn’t to be.

Through a combination of bad injury luck but also through a degree of poor form also, Kuhlman found himself someone on the outside when it came to head coach Bruce Cassidy‘s plans for the team.

When the season was suspended, it seemed that Karson Kuhlman had earned his way back into Cassidy’s good graces. His determination saw him gifted playing time as the team steamed towards the President’s Trophy.

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Of course, the Boston Bruins dealing David Backes to the Anaheim Ducks and later waiving Brett Ritchie opened up space to stake his claim to a roster spot. Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie arrived, but there was still room to keep him up with the ‘big club’.

It’s reasonable to look at his placement on the second line and feel that he was possibly plugged into the line-up a little too high and with hindsight, he’s a better fit in the bottom-six, but Cassidy saw potential and wanted to give him his shot.

What Kuhlman does well is play at pace with an intelligent approach to fore-checking; exactly the kind of traits that could help him stand-out if he were placed alongside Charlie Coyle on the third line.

To start training camp, he’s spending time alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron while we await the arrival of David Pastrnak back in the country; he needs to take this opportunity to work with these highly-skilled linemates and maybe pick up a few tricks.

If he can do that, it’s going to be hard to force him out of the Boston Bruins’ playoff line-up; in fact, given the nature of this post-season, his ability to burst out at speed could be his trump card.

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Karson Kuhlman certainly has the raw talent to be a part of the Bruins’ line-up, here’s hoping the extra recovery time has focused him on the prize at stake even more so.