RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty has spent his six-year professional career split nearly evenly between Toronto and his current team. Given that the beginning of his NHL career was a constant shuttle between the Maple Leafs and the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies, those early years are now disappearing from his view.
"I spent [parts of four] years there, and I'm such a different player," Tlusty said. "I've learned so many things from the roles that I've been playing over here."
The 13th pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, Tlusty always knew expectations were high. Equally adept at setting up a scoring chance and finishing one, he also was willing to do hard work deep in the offensive zone.