With the final games of the regular season cancelled, the Chiefs did not have the opportunity to recognize our graduating overage players in-person at Spokane Arena, as is tradition. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize each of these players for their outstanding Western Hockey League careers and contributions to the Spokane Chiefs’ franchise history during Overage Week presented by Avista Utilities.
Next up is Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Filip Král.
Král was chosen by the Chiefs in the second round (78th overall) of the 2017 CHL Import Draft out of his home Czech Republic and, after three exemplary WHL seasons, will leave Spokane as one of the most decorated import defensemen in franchise history.
The 6-foot-1 rearguard debuted on Oct. 13, 2017 and picked up an assist. He scored his first career WHL goal the next night against the rival Tri-City Americans, all as part of a five-game point streak to set him on his way to team Rookie of the Year honors. He finished with 35 points (9G-26A) and a plus-nine rating in just 54 games, as he missed time in December and January while helping the Czechs to a surprise fourth-place finish at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
With a late birthday, Král returned for his NHL draft year as a 19-year-old and tallied 10 goals to go with 26 assists in only 47 games, again missing time to represent his home country at the World Juniors tournament. The always-smiling left-hand shot heard his name called in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As an overage, Král was outstanding, earning Chiefs Co-Defenseman of the Year honors with team captain and first-round NHL pick Ty Smith after scoring 12 goals and 49 points in 53 games. Král was particularly effective early in the season and carried the load for Spokane while Smith was at World Juniors for Team Canada. He also finished strong, posting 11 points in the team’s final 11 games.
Adept at avoiding the penalty box, he amassed just four minor penalties all season to also earn the team’s Most Sportsmanlike Player award.
Overall, Král wraps up his WHL career with 154 regular season games played, netting 31 goals and 89 assists for 120 points while keeping a plus-44 rating. He added 17 postseason appearances.
The smooth-skating blueliner was rewarded for his efforts with a three-year entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs earlier this month.
Congratulations on an outstanding WHL career, Filip! The Spokane Chiefs thank you for your hard work, dedication and contributions both on and off the ice. Once a Chief, always a Chief.