Spokane Chiefs defenseman Filip Kral was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday morning in Dallas, Texas. Kral is the second Chief chosen in this year’s draft, following fellow blueliner Ty Smith, who went 17th overall to New Jersey.
Kral, a 1999-born defenseman from Blansko, Czech Republic, was the Chiefs’ second-round (78th overall) pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft. He made the trip across the Atlantic and had breakout rookie season with the Chiefs, during which he scored 35 points (9G-26A) and earned the team’s Rookie of the Year award. He made his WHL debut and earned his first assist in the same game on Oct. 13 vs. VIC. He followed that up with his first goal the next night and opened his WHL career on five-game point streak (2G-5A). In total, Kral picked up eight multi-point games throughout the season and was second on the team in points per game by a defenseman.
Internationally, Kral competed with his native Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping the Czechs earn a surprising fourth place finish.
Kral is the second Chief ever selected by Toronto, joining forward Jared Hope (9th round; 1996). He is the 73rd drafted player in Spokane’s franchise history.
Ticket packages for the 2018-19 regular season are on sale now and start as low as $70! For more information, visit spokanechiefs.com or call a ticket account executive at 509-535-PUCK.