Spokane Chiefs defensemen Ty Smith and Filip Kral have been invited to the National Hockey League’s annual draft combine, set to take place this week in Buffalo, New York.
Among North American skaters, Smith is ranked 14th by the NHL’s Central Scouting service ahead of June’s entry draft. Some experts project Smith as a top-10 selection after he led the Western Conference in scoring by a defenseman with 73 points (14 goals, 59 assists), the most by a first-year draft-eligible WHL blueliner since the 2001-02 season.
Kral is ranked 54th on the same list after a breakout rookie season during which he had nine goals and 26 assists), earning the team’s Rookie of the Year award. Kral also competed with his native Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping the Czechs earn a surprising fourth-place finish.
The combine provides the opportunity for NHL general managers and scouting staffs to meet draft-eligible hockey prospects. Teams can meet with players throughout the week prior to fitness testing, which puts players through 12 drills designed to measure agility, strength and conditioning.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review’s sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.