February 28, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jiri Tlusty (19) against the Nashville Predators at the RBC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Predators 4-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE
News & Observer beat writer Chip Alexander broke the news earlier this evening that the Hurricanes have re-signed 24-year old forward Jiri Tlusty to a two-year contract extension. The deal has a cap hit of approximately $1.6 mil. and will pay Tlusty $1.5 mil. next season and $1.7 mil. the year after.
Tlusty is a former first round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2006 draft and has been a solid member of the Hurricanes ever since the was acquired in a trade involving Philippe Paradis in late 2009. He spent his first couple of years in Carolina in the bottom-six but found a home on the top line with Eric Staal last season after having a breakout campaign. Tlusty finished the season with career highs in goals and points (17 and 36 respectively) and proved to be a huge bargain for the $525,000 he was making at the time.
He managed to turn this career year into a well-deserved contract extension and will look to stay in Carolina's top-six next season.
The statement from the team follows the jump.
‘CANES SIGN JIRI TLUSTY TO TWO-YEAR DEAL
Forward posted career highs in goals, assists and points in 2011-12
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed forward Jiri Tlusty to a two-year contract. The deal will pay Tlusty $1.5 million in 2012-13, and $1.7 million in 2013-14.
“Jiri had a very good season and showed that he can contribute as a top-end NHL forward,” said Rutherford. “He should continue to be an important part of the Hurricanes coming off of his career year.”
Tlusty, 24, posted career highs in games played (79), goals (17), assists (19) and points (36) in 2011-12, ranking fourth on the team in points, tied for fourth in assists and fifth in goals. The Slany, Czech Republic, native ranked tied for second among all Carolina skaters with 15 even-strength goals, and the Hurricanes earned points in 15 of the 17 games in which he earned an assist. Tlusty (6’0”, 209 lbs.) played his 200th NHL game on Jan. 23 against Winnipeg, and has scored 34 goals and earned 40 assists (74 points) in 229 career NHL games with Carolina and Toronto. The Maple Leafs drafted Tlusty in the first round, 13th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, and he was acquired by Carolina via trade on Dec. 3, 2009.