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Grade the Players: Karson Kuhlman couldn’t quite carve out a role

Kuhlman was unable to routinely crack the lineup.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: C+

After some promising moments during the 2018-2019 season, Karson Kuhlman struggled to consistently remain in the lineup last season.

He usually got the nod on a matchup-to-matchup basis for his fleet-of-foot skating or due to injuries to others.

During that promising 2018-19 season, Kuhlman notched five points in 11 contests in the regular season and tree points in eight postseason games.

However, he could not find his footing in his sophomore campaign.

The Bruins were bereft of five-on-five scoring this season and seemed to frequently rotate players in and out if the lineup in bids to spark offense. In spite of that, Kuhlman could not carve out a full-time role.

He brings a high work rate to the game, forechecking well and using his speed to create opportunities. While he enjoyed 19 percent of his zone starts in the offensive zone, his 2% shooting percentage limited his point production.

51% of his ice time took place when the Bruins were in the lead, and his Corsi numbers remained positive.

His skill set is conducive to playing up and down the lineup, given his ability to complement higher skill players or aid others in a checking line role. Because of that, he’ll likely continue to get a shot.

That, plus a slew of potential lineup changes during the upcoming season mean we haven’t seen the last of Kuhlman.

He should find himself in contention for a more regular spot in the lineup in the 2020-21 campaign, but will need to do a lot more to make it last.

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