Jiri Tlusty will return to the Leafs’ line-up for Thursday night’s game against Buffalo to fill the void left by an injured Jeremy Williams. The timeline on Williams’ shoulder injury isn’t yet known. Meanwhile, Luke Schenn has returned to full contact practising and appears to be less than a week away from returning to action.
Tlusty’s numbers with the Marlies this year haven’t been of the knock-out variety as the Czech’s posted 5 goals and 13 assists for 18 points in his 27 appearances since being demoted nine games into the campaign. Tlusty struggled in the early stages of the season but has really come on as of late (most of his ’08/’09 production has been in the last month). Additionally, from what we’ve seen so far, Tlusy is more of a play-maker first, goal-scorer second, as indicated by his goals/assists ratio. Tlusty sort of lost a season as a result of being mistakenly rushed into the NHL last year when he should have been further developing with the Marlies. The hope is that Tlusty will earn a line-up spot next training camp after getting a needed year in the A under his belt. Who knows, if he really shows himself (*cough*) and seizes this opportunity, Ron Wilson’s been more than willing to reward youngsters with further chances if earned.