The Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade today, acquiring AHL defender Chad Krys from Chicago in exchange for AHL forward Kurtis Gabriel.
TRADE: We’ve acquired defenceman Chad Krys from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Kurtis Gabriel. #LeafsForever— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 9, 2021
Chad Krys was a 2016 second round pick for Chicago (45th overall), but has yet to play an NHL game. Drafted from the USNTDP (where he played with our own Auston Matthews and Joey Anderson), he spent three years at Boston University before turning pro in 2019 with the Rockford Icehogs.
He didn’t play much after his debut season, as he injured his shoulder, then had surgery earlier this year.
This move can give him a chance to recover and work his game back up to speed with the Leafs/Marlies staff who have done well with others recently. Second City Hockey had him ranked low in their 2019 top 25, and then he disappeared from the list:
Their biggest criticism:
Krys needs to improve his defensive play at the point of entry (the blue line), where he tends to give up ground when opponents rush the inner third of the offensive zone. He’ll have to be active with his stick and gap to push the play to the boards, or opponents will frequently push the play towards the danger areas in the slot.
Losing Kurtis Gabriel from the Marlies won’t be a huge blow offensively, in thirteen games he has only one goal and one assist, but it will lead to less time for the penalty kill to develop as he took at least one penalty per game.
Chris Johnston has a positive outlook for Gabriel on this move:
The trade to Chicago should open a path for Kurtis Gabriel to get back to the NHL. He was pretty far down the depth chart in the #leafs organization.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 9, 2021
I’m not sure if this is praise for Gabriel or an indictment of the Blackhawks.
Welcome Chad, and thank you Gabriel.