The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Filip Kral to a one-year contract, it was announced today by President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Kyle Dubas.

The contract runs through the 2024-25 season and carries an average annual value of $775,000 at the NHL level.

Kral, 24, spent the 2023-24 season with the Lahti Pelicans of Liiga, Finland’s top professional league. The defenseman recorded five goals, 32 assists and 37 points in 46 games, leading all team defensemen in assists and points. His assist and point totals also ranked third and fourth among all Pelicans players, respectively. Kral’s plus-28 on the season was the best in the league, winning Liiga’s Matti Keinonen Trophy.

The 6-foot-2, 198-pound defenseman played parts of three seasons in the Toronto organization from 2020-23, primarily with the Marlies of the American Hockey League. In 92 career AHL games, Kral has recorded seven goals, 22 assists and 29 points. He has skated in two career NHL games with Toronto, making his NHL debut on October 29, 2022.

Prior to making his North American professional debut, Kral played three seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Spokane Chiefs from 2017-20. In 154 career WHL games, the defenseman tallied 31 goals, 89 assists and 120 points with a plus-44. 

The Blansko, Czechia native also played parts of three seasons in Czech Extraliga, the country’s highest professional league. In 75 career games, Kral registered six goals, 17 assists and 23 points and won the league’s championship in 2017.

Kral has represented his home country at the 2017 World Under-18 Championship and two World Junior Championships (2018 & ’19).

The defenseman was originally drafted by Toronto in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.