CEC hockey star commits to BulldogsEsko junior Karson Kuhlman,leading scorer for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton hockey team in the 2011-12 season, made an oral commitment to UMD on Tuesday, one day after the Bulldogs offered the 5-foot-10, 172-pound right winger a scholarship.
By: Rick Weegman, Pine Journal
As a young boy, Karson Kuhlman used to wear an old-school Minnesota Duluth hockey jersey in honor of his favorite team.
In as little as two years from now, Kuhlman could be wearing the real deal.
The Esko junior, leading scorer for Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in the 2011-12 season, made an oral commitment to UMD on Tuesday, one day after the Bulldogs offered the 5-foot-10, 172-pound right winger a scholarship.
“When you grow up 12 minutes away, it’s always been something that I wanted to do,” Kuhlman said. “I slept on it for one night and I felt I was ready. This fit everything we were looking for.”
Kuhlman toured the campus and Amsoil Arena, in which he has played twice since the facility opened.
“It’s an unbelievable hockey place; they do it right there,” he said. “I felt it was a place where I could go and learn and be a part of something great.”
Kuhlman scored 27 goals and added 28 assists for 55 points last season, playing on a line with center Westin Michaud and left winger Beau Michaud. That trio is expected to team up again on the top line.
“He’s very quick and very mobile,” Westin Michaud said. “He has great vision of the ice and does a lot of little things, and he puts the puck in the net for sure.”
CEC coach Dave Esse calls Kuhlman a very studious player who works hard at getting better.
“One of his best intangibles is his work ethic,” Esse said. “He plays so well without the puck; he’s got that hockey sense that you can’t teach. He makes things happen in all areas of the game – offensive zone, defensive zone, neutral ice – because of his hockey sense and his speed.”
Kuhlman says he went on an unofficial visit to Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival North Dakota, but it was no question where he was going once the Bulldogs made their interest known.
“UMD was always my No. 1,” he said.
Now Kuhlman can look for that old jersey that he wore when he was 7 or 8 years old.
“That would be fun if we pulled that out and found it,” he said.
And then put on a new one in a couple of years.