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Jiri Tlusty, left, poses for a photo with former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver. (CHUCK STOODY)
Jiri Tlusty, left, poses for a photo with former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver. (CHUCK STOODY)

Leafs trade Tlusty to Hurricanes Add to ...

The Toronto Maple Leafs gave up on Jiri Tlusty, sending the 21-year-old winger to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Philippe Paradis.

Tlusty, a native of Slany in the Czech Republic, was taken 13th overall in the 2006 NHL entry draft by former Leafs general manager John Ferguson. But Tlusty never managed to establish himself as an NHL player, getting just 10 goals and 10 assists in a total of 74 NHL games over three seasons.

Tlusty could not make the Leafs this season at training camp and was placed with their Toronto Marlies farm team. He had 15 points in 19 games with the Marlies this season. Every time the Leafs would call up Tlusty, who had 103 points in 105 AHL games, he could not duplicate his scoring at the NHL level.

Eventually, the Leafs came to believe that while Tlusty has the skills to play in the NHL he did not like playing with a high-profile team like the Leafs. They thought he would find it much easier to play in a smaller market where hockey players are under less scrutiny and when Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford expressed an interest a deal was made.

Paradis, 18, was taken 27th overall in this year's NHL entry draft by the Hurricanes. He is still playing junior hockey and has 19 points in 26 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL.

Burke likes Paradis because the 6-foot-1, 196-pounder is a physical player who has a decent scoring touch. Paradis is projected as a third-line winger who will be an agitator like Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars and contribute some goals.

"We wish Jiri Tlusty well," Burke said. "He's a good kid and we know he can play in the NHL but with Paradis we're getting a guy who can be a winger with speed, decent hands and who plays a physical game."

Rutherford said Tlusty will report to his team's AHL farm club, the Albany River Rats.

"This trade gives us an opportunity to pick up a young, skilled forward who is further along in the development phase," Rutherford said. "We feel that Jiri has a chance to be with the Hurricanes sooner than Philippe, who is a good, but still very young prospect."

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