When the Leafs signed Filip Kral and Kristians Rubins earlier this week, they made a withdrawal from the Rainy Day Fund.
The two left handed defencemen both showed much improvement this season, earning Entry Level Contracts when most 5th round picks and undrafted players do not.
Kral is no longer eligible for the Canadian Hockey League, and will be transitioning to pro whether it is at the AHL or ECHL level. Judging by the paths of Joseph Duszak and Mac Hollowell, Kral will likely start next season with the Newfoundland Growlers. The Leafs organization has committed over the past few years to using the ECHL as the third tier in their development system, and Kral would benefit from playing top minutes in a pro setting.
Rubins on the other hand was already playing for the Marlies, and will look to take on a top 4 role for them next season. Here’s what I wrote about him in the aforementioned article;
This year Rubins has spent the full season with the Marlies, with 14 points in 45 games to date. His combination of size and puck moving ability are difficult to find in the AHL, so I wouldn’t be surprised …
Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation