After playing one game with Carolina, Checkers scoring lead Aaron Palushaj is returning to Charlotte.
Palushaj, 24, played the 67th NHL game of his career on Sunday, skating on the Hurricanes’ fourth line with former Checkers teammates Zach Boychuk and Brett Sutter against Nashville. The postponement of a game in Buffalo originally scheduled for Tuesday robbed him of a chance to play another, as the return of Elias Lindholm from the World Junior Championship tournament and the near-return of a handful of injured players have rounded out the team’s roster.
The return of Palushaj, who has 14 points (3g, 11a) in his last 11 games, also helps round out the roster in Charlotte as the Checkers, off since Friday, had not replaced him. They will likely still be short one player as coach Jeff Daniels on Wednesday ruled newcomer Greg Nemisz out for this weekend’s two-game trip to Oklahoma City. Sean Dolan and Jared Staal are also unavailable due to injury.
During his scoring surge that dates back to Dec. 10, Palushaj passed Boychuk for the team lead with 28 points in 32 games, tying him for 20th in the AHL. His 19 assists also lead the team and are tied for 17th among league skaters, while his 91 shots on goal are tied with Chris Terry for most on the Checkers.