Karson Kuhlman (1 year 2-way contract $775k AAV)
You may not have realized this, but Kulman brings with him Stanley Cup Final experience. As a 23-year old, he was thrust into action for Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues in a do-or-die game for the Boston Bruins. All the then-rookie did was score a goal in a 5-1 win to force a Game 7 back in Boston.
Kuhlman is a hard-working versatile forward, though he has spent most of his career as a fourth-line center. He plays the type of high-energy, north-south game that fits in well with what the Islanders do and what you'd expect from a bottom-six forward on this team. He was with Boston from 2018-22, playing in 75 games over parts of four seasons, scoring seven goals and eight assists.
In January 2022, he was claimed off waivers by the expansion Seattle Kraken and the Kraken brought him back on a one year-deal for last season. "He helped our line; he helped me as a linemate," said line-mate Yanni Gourde about Kuhlman. "I knew what I was getting out of him every single night. He works really hard. We had that chemistry where I knew what he was going to do with the puck, and it makes us look faster."
Kuhlman was picked up off waivers by the Winnipeg last season on 33 games, scoring two goals and two assists for the Jets. He's expected to provide center-depth at Bridgeport and also brings leadership qualities to the AHL affiliate, having captained UMD's 2018 Frozen Four national championship team.