Kuhlman is having himself a week. The Esko, Minnesota native captained Minnesota Duluth to its second national championship Saturday, then signed a two-year contract with the Boston Bruins on Monday. Kuhlman had a hand in both the Bulldogs' goals in their 2-1 win over Notre Dame, and was named the Frozen Four's most outstanding player. A senior, Kuhlman appeared in 166 consecutive games for UMD, tying a program record. The 22-year-old went undrafted but scored a college career-high 13 goals this season and will join the AHL's Providence Bruins.
Louie Belpedio, Wild defenseman (↑ UP)
Belpedio made his Wild debut over the weekend after spending four seasons at Miami University. The 21-year-old played 15:47 in the Wild's 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. He had two assists and got a few looks in on the power play, becoming the first Wild rookie to register multiple points in an NHL debut. Belpedio captained the RedHawks as a senior, leading all Miami defensemen in scoring with 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists).
Joe Mauer, Twins first baseman (↑ UP)
We're still less than two weeks into April, but through eight games Mauer has picked up where he left off last season. He has a hit in every game, and is slashing .407/.543/.556 in 27 at-bats. He's not going to flirt with .400 all season (probably?), but following his resurgence in 2017, it sure looks like some semblance of the Mauer of old is here to stay.
Brian Dozier, Twins second baseman (↑ UP)
Is Dozier playing with a chip on his shoulder in the midst of all this "will they, won't they" extension talk? It seems possible. He has a hit in every game this season, leads the American League with four home runs and is slashing .306/.419/.667 in 36 at-bats.
Jimmy Butler, Wolves shooting guard (↑ UP)
Butler is back, and he has some thoughts on the Wolves, who he says were "playing soft" after struggling out of the gate in their win over Memphis. He played just under 23 minutes and had 15 points, three assists and three steals in his second game back. The Wolves are 2-0 since Jimmy Buckets' return.
Andrew Wiggins, Wolves forward (↓ DOWN)
Wiggins struggled mightily in the Wolves' win over Memphis, going 3-for-12 from the field and scoring just seven points, tied for his worst output of the season. The formula is pretty simple for the Wolves at this point: win or go home. To avoid the latter they'll likely need a bounce-back performance from Wiggins on Wednesday.
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Taj Gibson, Wolves center (↓ DOWN)
Gibson left Monday's game with neck soreness, leaving his status for the Wolves' must-win against the Nuggets on Wednesday in doubt. The veteran has been a key piece defensively for the Wolves this season.
Jose Berrios, Twins pitcher (↓ DOWN)
Berrios wasn't quite as sharp in his second start after pitching a complete-game shutout in his first outing. He struggled Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, allowing six hits and five runs, all earned, in 4 2/3 innings.