With Kladno in 2005-06, Tlusty netted seven goals in 40 games, which may not seem like a lot until you realize that Tlusty was more than holding his own against grown men in a professional league.
2006-07: Playing in six games with the Marlies to begin the season while Leafs’ brass decided what to do with their prized first rounder, Tlusty scored three goals in six games. When the Leafs finally decided to send him to Craig Hartsburg’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League to learn not only the North American game, but the culture, as well, Tlusty had the misfortune of suffering an ankle injury that hurt his development throughout the regular season.
The Czech pivot still managed to post 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points in 37 OHL regular-season games, but it was the playoffs where he really shined. With the ankle injury behind him, Tlusty moved his game to a different level. He brought his whole arsenal of skills in a six-game upset of the Saginaw Spirit and nearly led them to another upset of the London Knights. Tlusty was all over the ice, winning faceoffs, scoring goals and, more importantly, playing a physical brand of North American hockey. He finished the playoffs with 17 points in only 13 games.
Scott Mitchell contributed to this profile