Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Filip Kral and Kristians Rubins

Filip Kral
KELOWNA, BC - JANUARY 31: Filip Král #18 of the Spokane Chiefs speaks to referee Chris Crich on the ice against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on January 31, 2020 in Kelowna, Canada. Král was selected in the 2018 NHL entry draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed two prospects. Defenceman Filip Kral has agreed to a three-year deal while Kristians Rubins‘ deal is for two years. Rubins is a defenceman as well. The Leafs announced the signings late Wednesday afternoon.

Leafs Sign Filip Kral & Kristians Rubins

The 22-year-old Rubins is the older of the two and signs his deal after playing two stints with the AHL Toronto Marlies. He also had one stretch with the ECHL affiliate in Newfoundland. Rubins had an average season with Toronto in 2019-20. The former Latvian junior scored two goals and 14 points in 47 games before play was shut down during the current pandemic. Rubins has never been a strong scorer but does have a 6’4″, 216-pound frame to throw around.

The 20-year-old Kral was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 Draft. He has been playing mostly for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL but has games with the Czech Republic’s junior squads as well. Kral had a solid season this year for the Chiefs with 12 goals and 49 points in 53 games. He ranked second in scoring among defencemen behind New Jersey Devils prospect Ty Smith. Kral is not a top Leafs prospect but has some scoring ability and could be a second power-play option in the future.

What This Means for Toronto

Toronto has secured two more options for its blueline for 2020-21 or whenever hockey resumes. Both Kral and Rubins have starting to look like options for the NHL in the next couple of seasons. Neither will make an impact right away; Toronto has a strong prospect pipeline building on defence but both could produce soon. Rubins could be a penalty-killer in the next season or two. Kral probably needs at least one season with the AHL affiliate but has the scoring punch to contribute on offence. We do not know when hockey will resume but Toronto is looking towards the future with these signings.

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