Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't give up on Jiri Tlusty

Over the past few seasons I have repeatedly suggested that Jiri Tlusty would benefit from time in the minors. After being drafted in the first round by the Leafs, Tlusty played only 37 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds before being assigned to the Marlies. But only 8 games into the AHL season he was called up by the Leafs last season. Probably the worst thing that happened to him was scoring two goals in his first NHL game. It contributed to his extended stay in the NHL that stretching into this season. Fortunately he was finally demoted back down to the Marlies earlier this season. After a slow start he is now one of the hottest players in the AHL. In the last 10 games Tlusty has scored 12 goals and 9 assists and he leads the Marlies in goals scored. If Brian Burke moves a few veteran forwards next week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tlusty recalled to the Leafs. But then when it comes to developing young players, patience is a virtue. So if it’s not now it will be sometime in the future.