RALEIGH, N.C. — For some players, the feel of NHL hockey comes through a steady build. For others, excelling at the game is a lengthy process.
Count Carolina forward Jiri Tlusty as a member of the second group.
The 24-year-old is already six seasons into his NHL career, a reflection of his potential more than his previous offensive contribution. But that is changing. Tlusty delivered two goals and an assist in the Hurricanes’ 4-1 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
“My break-in to the NHL [in Toronto] was kind of harder than I thought it was going to be,” Tlusty said. “I had a kind of easy first year as a rookie, then everything changed when they put me back in the minors [with the AHL Toronto Marlies].”
After scoring 10 goals in 58 games as a Maple Leafs rookie in 2007-08, Tlusty returned to the minors before being traded to Carolina. Now in his fourth season with the Hurricanes, he is cashing in on the offensive potential that made him a first-round pick (No. 13) in 2006. It helps that he has spent most of the season skating with Eric Staal and Alex Semin, who combined for five points in the win over Pittsburgh. >> Continue Reading <<
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