The Toronto Maple Leafs have today announced the trade of forward Kurtis Gabriel to the Chicago Blackhawks, in exchange for defenceman Chad Krys.
While injuries and suspensions have been the largest talking points with the Toronto Maple Leafs over the past week, the team has made a minor trade to acquire defensive prospect Chad Krys from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Heading to the Central Division team is forward Kurtis Gabriel, who has spent the entire season to date with the Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliates the Toronto Marlies, where he registered a goal and an assist in 13 games.
In return, the Leafs may have an interesting project in the form of Krys, who was originally selected by the Blackhawks in the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 Draft, but has yet to make an appearance in the NHL to date.
Krys was drafted after progressing through the USA National Team Development Program, with his impressive performances during his draft year seeing him go on to make seven appearances for Team USA at the World Junior Championships – where he earned bronze medal honours.
The Ridgefield, Connecticut native moved to Boston University after being drafted, being named to the Hockey East’s All-Tournament Team on route to guiding the Terriers to the Hockey East title in 2018.
After racking up eight goals and 20 total points in 30 games during the subsequent season, Krys signed his entry-level contract with the Blackhawks organisation and has spent the past few seasons playing in the AHL with the Rockford Ice Hogs.
After a four-assist stint in nine games after leaving college, Krys featured in 41 regular season games (two goals, six assists) in the COVID-shortened 2019/20 campaign, while playing only a further 14 games (three assists) in the minors since.
He did spend time on the Blackhawks’ taxi squad during the unique 2021 season, but has yet to feature at the NHL level and could be an interesting player for the Toronto Maple Leafs organisation to work with and assess his future at the professional level.
While he will likely make an immediate impact with the Toronto Marlies, Krys’ long-term future will likely be decided at a later date with the 23-year-old in the final year of his ELC and set to become a restricted free agent next summer.