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Canes to Recall Boychuk

Friday, 12.17.2010 / 1:05 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
With Jiri Tlusty suffering an upper-body injury in Thursday night’s shootout win over Atlanta, Zach Boychuk will get his first big-league opportunity of the season.

Paul Branecky
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Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford said that the 21-year-old Boychuk would be recalled from the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers Friday evening. The Canes’ first-round pick in 2008 ranks tied for second in league scoring with 32 points (10g, 22a) in 28 games.

“He didn’t have as good of a training camp as he would have liked, but he did what all good players do in development leagues – he worked hard,” said Rutherford. “He’s earned the opportunity.”

Saturday’s home contest against Anaheim will mark Boychuk’s first NHL game of the season. Beginning with a two-game stint in his draft year, he’s played 33 total games with the Hurricanes, scoring 3 goals with 6 assists.

Rutherford said that he expected Boychuk to play in Tlusty’s spot on the left wing of either the third or fourth line. Tlusty had started the Atlanta game on the third unit with Patrick Dwyer and Chad LaRose, but that spot was filled by Sergei Samsonov after the injury.

The injury to Tlusty, which expected to sideline the 22-year-old Czech for “a week or two,” comes at an inopportune time. Rutherford believed that Tlusty, who had 2 goals in his last four games entering Thursday night, was just starting to round into form after a difficult start caused in part by offseason knee surgery.

“He’s a very smart player who is going to get better and better when he gets past these injuries,” said Rutherford. “The key for him is to get to the tough areas of the ice in front of the net to score goals.”

Tlusty was hurt in the first period when he was charged by the Thrashers’ Ben Eager while kneeling on the ice along the boards. Rutherford called the play “kind of a cheap shot” and said he initially feared for a worse prognosis.

“It’s not as bad as we expected,” he said.

Rutherford said that the key for Boychuk, however long this NHL stint will last, will be to keep displaying the consistency he’s showed since starting the season in Charlotte.

“He’s a guy that should be able to play in the top six (in the NHL),” said Rutherford. “He just has to get to the pace at this level and get through the grind of 82 games.”

The GM added that there were other players in Charlotte to consider for the spot, but Boychuk earned the nod due to the big numbers and strong work ethic he's displayed all season.


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[SSS_STANDINGS.METROPOLITAN_DIVISION_LABEL]
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06
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