Jiri Tlusty Traded

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    Reports indicate that young forward Jiri Tlusty has been traded to the Hurricanes for Philippe Paradis, Carolina’s first round pick (27th overall) in 2009.

    Hockey’s Future has this to say about Philippe Paradis:

    A mixture of physical presence and scoring skill, Paradis is an attractive prospect.  He possesses a hard shot and has the ability to make room for himself and his teammates on the ice.  Paradis isn’t a player to back down from a challenge. Already an intriguing medley of grit and ability, if Paradis gets faster and stronger, he could become a dominant force in the QMJHL.

    They have him ranked at a 7.0 C on their Prospect Grade scale, and listed as Carolina’s 6th best prospect.  The 18 year-old clocks in at a little over 6 feet and almost 200 pounds.  He’s put up 19 points (8 goals and 11 assists) in 26 games for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL this year, with 43 PIM to boot.

    Comparing him to Brendan Morrow, The Hockey Writers 2009 Draft Preview had this to say about the young Canadian (they had him ranked 49th going into the draft):

    Paradis notched 50 points in 66 games and was a plus 20 last season for Shawinigan. He won the hardest shot competition at the Top Prospects game. His coach, Eric Veillieux, thinks he was one of the best hitters in the QMJHL. He has been described as a slightly less talented Jordan Caron. He does have good size, is a good skater, and it is not afraid to go to the tough areas to score goals. He is very responsible defensively, but he also possesses good offensive upside.

    All in all, Paradis is projected as a second line center that is defensively responsible.  Reports from the draft scouting combine had him as one of only seven players to be above average in both upper and lower body development.  What this means is that he’s a big kid that’s closer to being physically-ready for the NHL than most of his cohort.

    Until there is further clarification, this move strikes me as puzzling.  Obviously Tlusty had not yet panned out at the NHL level, but he has consistently dominated the AHL for the last season and change and has flashed top-six potential at the wing.  Patience should have been the attitude going forward with the young Czech, but we’ll hope to hear some reasoning behind Burke and co. for this move.  The move makes a lot of sense for the Hurricanes as they are in dire need of a scoring infusion into their last-place club, and Tlusty is very close to being NHL-ready.  Carolina GM Jim Rutherford had this to say about their new acquisition:

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

    It should be noted that the movement of Tlusty for Paradis does open up a spot in Toronto’s 50-contract limit.  Whether this is a prelude to anything is pure speculation at this point.  Like I’ve said, we’ll need to hear more before we can fully understand this swap.


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