« Hockey 2017-18

Karson Kuhlman


Minnesota Duluth

Organizational Management


Karson Kuhlman maintains a 3.46 cumulative grade-point average and will graduate this May with a B.S. degree in organizational management. He is a three-time NCHA All-Academic Team qualifier.


The recipient of the 2017-18 NCHC Sportsmanship Award, Kuhlman is serving as the UMD team captain this season after handling an assistant team captaincy role as a junior. He is a high-end character who always puts the team first, whether it’s is on the ice, in the locker room or out in the community. His commitment and devotion to the UMD program is beyond reproach. The program never has to worry about Kuhlman’s intentions because for him it’s all about what’s best for Bulldog hockey. He makes sure there is inclusion within the team and that everyone is being taken care of no matter if they are a star forward of third-string goalie. If there are issues among the players, he’s not afraid to address and tackle them head on. This occasionally requires him to do things that may not be popular or easy, but that doesn’t deter him because, for him, it’s all a matter of doing what’s right. He walks the walk, so to speak, and that is one of the main reasons his teammates have the highest respect for him. He’s someone that UMD Head Coach Scott Sandelin says “has been a leader since he first stepped on the ice with us and who the younger players should look up to and emulate.”


Kuhlman’s volunteerism and community service work have been extensive over the past four years. He looks at giving back not as an obligation or as a team requirement, but simply as a way of life. During his time as a Bulldog, Kuhlman has been active with the UMD Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), in addition to volunteering at a number of local elementary schools, the Minnesota National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing (childcare helper), the Duluth Inline Marathon and the Little Wild hockey program. When there is a request for UMD hockey players at an area charity function, Kuhlman always steps up to the plate first.


Kuhlman has not missed a game since enlisting his services with the Bulldogs in 2014-15, and his active ironman streak of 128 consecutive appearances is the longest in NCAA I hockey as of nomination time. He leads all 2017-18 Bulldogs in career goals (27), assists (35), points (62) and plus-minus rating (+37, one of the top figures in the nation). Kuhlman, who has skated a substantial amount of shifts on both the power play and penalty killing units, established a career high for scoring for the second straight season last winter. He finished with 18 points as a rookie, 20 points the following year and 22 points in 2016-17 when he and the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four title game.