The Winnipeg Jets made a trade to shore up their injured forward depth. Like last time the Jets made a trade due to injuries, the player joining the Jets is from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Jiri Tlusty is a twenty-six year-old winger who will becomes a free agent over the summer.
What does Tlusty bring to the table?
At first glance, Tlusty this season has performed as a low scoring play driver. Interestingly, he historically has been the opposite. I’d be skeptical in calling him a play driver this season, despite the Hurricanes controlling a greater share of shot attempts with Tlusty on the ice than on the bench. It may be due to Tlusty’s linemates, as his linemates on average have a better Corsi% without him than with him, a pattern he’s maintained for some time.
Tlusty’s drop this season in 5-on-5 scoring seems to be on-ice shooting percentage and shot quantity driven. His shooting percentage and IAP (the percentage of on-ice goals he gets an assist on) are similar to years prior. He has experienced a dip in his linemates shooting percentage and his own shot rates are slightly down.
This means that it wouldn’t be out of the question to expect a bit of an uptick for his minutes on the Jets. The major tool Tlusty brings is his goal scoring ability. Since the 2011-12 season, only Jeff Skinner has out paced Tlusty’s goals per sixty production on the Hurricaines.
Tlusty doesn’t bring much in terms of penalty kill and hasn’t been used there much traditionally. He is a strong power play option, something the Jets could definitely use.
Where Does He Fit With the Jets?
Burtch’s dCorsi and Galamini’s usage-adjusted Corsi percentage both suggest that Tlusty isn’t the driver when it comes to out-attempting opponents. His even-strength goal-scoring though has been impressive.
Optimally Tlusty is a goal-scoring, middle-six winger for a line with two decent play drivers, preferably with one of them being a strong play maker. Think Evander Kane but not as good at driving the play (statistically speaking, not stylistically speaking).
With Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault injured, Tlusty will likely spend a lot of time in the Jets top six. Optimally though when everyone is healthy the Jets place Tlusty on the third line with Adam Lowry and one of either Drew Stafford or Michael Frolik. Some extra ice-time on the second power play unit would also be recommended.
Tlusty -like Stafford- is capable enough that the Jets could extend Tlusty for a reduced role. It is not as crucial without the play driving ability like that of someone like Michael Frolik.
Extra: Fun Graphs on Jiri Tlusty
(Courtesy: War on Ice)
(Courtesy: Own The Puck)