By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
With a five-game, 11-day road trip on the way, the Bruins narrowed their list of three to four potential recalls down to one lucky Karson Kuhlman, summoning the first-year pro up for his first NHL call-up.
Signed by the Bruins as a college free agent last April, the 23-year-old center comes up to the NHL having recorded 12 goals and 25 points, along with a team-best (and fifth-best in the AHL) plus-22 rating in 50 games with Providence this season.
Considered a speedy three-zone player with special teams potential, Kuhlman has been one of Providence's best forwards of late, and dons a Big B on his sweater after having scored nine goals in his last 20 AHL contests.
Given the fact that the Bruins head out to California in the midst of an eight-game point streak (5-o-3), the decision to call Kuhlman up versus a potential journeyman option is intriguing, and could mean that the Bruins intend to actually find out what the 5-foot-11 forward can bring to a lineup. The rather infrequent usage of players such as David Backes (averaging 10:50 over his last five appearances) and Trent Frederic (still without a point and averaging just 8:49 through seven NHL contests) could speak to the potential opportunity that awaits Kuhlman in California and beyond.
No matter the lineup, though, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy seems excited for his team to get back on the road and bond.
"We’ve played a lot better on the road I think of late, won in Washington, in Toronto," Cassidy remarked. "I think recently, better than earlier in the year, been playing better hockey, so I think the guys are looking forward to it. We’ve been here a long time and took care of business this week, so now I think it’s time to get out on the road and bond a little bit there."
The Bruins kick the trip off with a Friday night head-to-head with the Anaheim Ducks.