Not stopping with the return of Alex Gudbranson from earlier this afternoon, the Toronto Marlies have announced the signing of Kristian Pospisil to a one-year, two-way AHL contract.
Pospisil is definitely a player that’s taken the road less travelled by over the years. Born in Slovakia, the 21-year old was developed in EC Salzburg’s part-Austrian, part-Russian program, having a breakout season in the MHL (leading the team in points, and the league in penalty minutes) in what happened to be both his last year in the system and recent Marlies assistant coach hire Rob Davison’s first behind the bench. While Davison never coached him, he was a presumptive prospect in their system at the time, so there is a chance that the connection there is meaningful.
In hopes of getting noticed at the North American level, Pospisil spent a year with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL, scoring 25 goals and adding 15 assists in 52 games as a 19-year-old. It wasn’t enough to get him drafted, though, so he played this season in Sioux City of the USHL, scoring 40 points in 48 games for the Musketeers.
As you can imagine, a 6’2 forward with a boatload of penalty minutes has picked up power forward descriptors throughout his career, though the fact that so few of those minutes come from fighting majors should have some wondering if discipline is an issue in his game. Nonetheless, he should get some time to figure himself out this way; while he was on a few “most impressive” short lists at Leafs development camp earlier this month, the current depth chart and the fact that he spent his Age 20 season in the USHL would lead you to assume that he’ll be a Solar Bear to start.