The Toronto Maple Leafs are the latest team to send some prospects overseas for European training camp and game action. The team announced Filip Kral and Jesper Lindgren have been loaned to HC Prerov and MODO respectively.
Both players are defensemen that would be extreme long-shots to make the NHL roster next season, but they could be recalled from these loans to play for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL when the minor league season begins.
Kral, 20, saw his CHL career cut short when the season was canceled after posting 49 points in 53 games for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. The Czech-born defender played three years for Spokane, developing just outside of the spotlight that was on New Jersey Devils prospect Ty Smith who was busy winning Defenseman of the Year awards. While Kral doesn’t have that kind of upside, his 120 points in 154 games and strong performances in the World Juniors certainly makes him more interesting than the average fifth-round pick.
Lindgren meanwhile played this season for the Marlies, recording nine points in 31 games during his first full season in North America. The 23-year old was a fourth-round selection in 2015 and took his time before coming over, but is also an interesting name to keep an eye on as the Maple Leafs try to find cheap depth for their roster. Lindgren has one year remaining on his entry-level contract and will still be waiver-exempt in 2020-21.