Kral Invited to Czech World Junior Championship
Spokane Chiefs defenseman Filip Kral has been invited to pre-tournament camp for the Czech Under-20 National Team, as announced by the Czech Ice Hockey Association on Monday. The camp includes 27 players hoping to earn a roster spot on the Czech team for the upcoming 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.
Kral, 18, was the Chiefs' second round (78th overall) selection in the 2017 CHL Import Draft and made the jump to North America in early October. Since then, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound defenseman has posted 3 goals and 10 assists for 13 points in 19 games played. Through Sunday, Kral is the WHL's top-scoring rookie defenseman.
Kral has international tournament experience with the Czech Republic, winning gold at the 2016 U-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. He also competed for his country at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge as the Czechs went 2-2-0-1.
With an October birthday, he is first eligible for the NHL Entry Draft in 2018. The National Hockey League's Central Scouting service ranks Kral as a "C" prospect, indicating a potential 4th-6th round choice. He is expected to depart for the pre-tournament camp on Dec. 13.
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