Kevin Fiala

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Kevin Fiala
Born (1996-07-22) 22 July 1996 (age 23)
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 193 lb (88 kg; 13 st 11 lb)
Position Winger
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Minnesota Wild
HV71
Nashville Predators
National team   Switzerland
NHL Draft 11th overall, 2014
Nashville Predators
Playing career 2013–present

Kevin Fiala (born 22 July 1996) is a Swiss professional ice hockey winger currently playing with the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL). Born in Switzerland to Czech parents, Fiala first played hockey there, before moving to Sweden in 2012 to further his career. He spent one season with the Malmö Redhawks junior team, then joined HV71, splitting a season between their junior team and their senior team in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), being selected by the Nashville Predators 11th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Fiala started the following season with HV71 before moving to North America halfway through, splitting two seasons between the Predators and their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

Internationally Fiala has played for the Swiss national team at several tournaments, both at the junior and senior level, and has appeared in two World Championships.

Playing career[edit]

Fiala played in the 2009 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the Swiss Eastern team.[1] He later played in various junior leagues in his native Switzerland prior to joining the Swedish club Malmö Redhawks for the 2012–13 season. His time was split between the U18 club in the J18 Elit and J18 Allsvenskan, and the U20 outfit in the J20 SuperElit. Fiala then joined HV71, with whom he debuted for during the 2013 European Trophy.[2] Throughout the 2013–14 season, Fiala split time with the HV71 junior team in the J20 SuperElit and the senior team, who played in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). He was praised by Head Coach Ulf Dahlén for his play following his SHL debut, a 5–4 defeat to Linköpings HC.[3] Fiala was a finalist for the SHL's Rookie of the Year award; he finished tying for the lead among all SHL junior (under-18) players for points, with 11.[4] Prior to joining the senior team in the SHL, Fiala had been one of the top scorers in the junior league, with 10 goals and 25 points in 27 games.[5]

Fiala was ranked as one of the top European prospects for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, being considered a top-three player by many scouting services; he ultimately was selected by the Nashville Predators 11th overall.[6] The Predators signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract on 15 July 2014.[4]

Fiala initially started the 2014–15 season with HV71. However in January he was re-assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. At the time, Fiala had 14 points in 20 games, which was the sixth-most points of all junior players in the SHL.[7] He made his NHL debut during the season, on March 24, against the Montreal Canadiens.[8] He also appeared in one playoff game during the season.[9]

He scored his first NHL goal on 14 January 2016, against Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets.[10] Spending most of the season with Milwaukee, he finished the year with 50 points in 66 games.[11]

In the 2016–17 season, Fiala made the Predators opening night roster. In his rookie NHL season, Fiala appeared in 54 games and scored 11 goals. He was assigned to the Admirals throughout the year and recorded with 19 points in 22 games. In the post-season, after a first round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks, in which he collected two goals, Fiala suffered a broken left femur on 26 April 2017, playing in the opening game of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the second period of the game against the St. Louis Blues, Fiala's left knee collided with the end boards after being checked by St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. Fiala was removed from the ice on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance and transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. An artery in his left thigh was ruptured during the fracture thus ending Fiala's 2017 playoff participation.[12]

During the 2018–19 season, having tallied 10 goals and 32 points in 64 games with the Predators, Fiala was traded at the trade deadline to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Mikael Granlund on 25 February, 2019.[13]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Representing   Switzerland
Ice hockey
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2018 Denmark

Fiala played in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2012 and 2013 as a member of the Swiss U18 national team. He also skated for his country at the 2014 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, where he was lauded as one of the key players on the Swiss roster.[14] In five WJC games, he recorded one goal and four assists, as Switzerland was eliminated by Canada in the quarter-finals. In May 2014, Fiala represented Switzerland at the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus, registering two assists in seven games.[15] Fiala was the third player in history to play in the under-18, World Junior, and World Championship in the same year (the first two were Andrei Kostitsyn and Vadim Karaga, both with Belarus in 2003).[16] Fiala also participated at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, where the Swiss won silver. In the final against Sweden Fiala had a chance to clinch the gold in overtime but his shot went too low. After losing the shootout the Swiss had to settle for silver.

Personal[edit]

Fiala is a native of St. Gallen, Switzerland, although both his parents are Czech.[17] His father, Jan, played professional hockey in the Swiss lower leagues. After retiring Jan turned to coaching, and was one of Fiala's first coaches.[16] Fiala speaks five languages: Czech, English, French, German and Swedish.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2012–13 Malmö Redhawks J20 33 9 19 28 28 3 0 0 0 2
2013–14 HV71 J20 27 10 15 25 40
2013–14 HV71 SHL 17 3 8 11 10 8 1 5 6 14
2014–15 HV71 SHL 20 5 9 14 14
2014–15 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 33 11 9 20 18
2014–15 Nashville Predators NHL 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2015–16 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 66 18 32 50 78 3 0 0 0 2
2015–16 Nashville Predators NHL 5 1 0 1 0
2016–17 Nashville Predators NHL 54 11 5 16 18 5 2 0 2 0
2016–17 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 22 7 12 19 45
2017–18 Nashville Predators NHL 80 23 25 48 26 12 3 1 4 8
2018–19 Nashville Predators NHL 64 10 22 32 26
2018–19 Minnesota Wild NHL 19 3 4 7 10
SHL totals 37 8 17 25 24 8 1 5 6 14
NHL totals 223 48 56 104 80 18 5 1 6 8

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2012 Switzerland IH18 4 3 0 3 2
2013 Switzerland IH18 4 2 0 2 12
2014 Switzerland WJC18 5 4 5 9 8
2014 Switzerland WJC 5 1 4 5 6
2014 Switzerland WC 7 0 2 2 2
2015 Switzerland WJC 6 4 1 5 16
2015 Switzerland WC 8 1 2 3 6
2018 Switzerland WC 5 1 4 5 6
2019 Switzerland WC 8 4 3 7 2
Junior totals 24 14 10 24 44
Senior totals 28 6 11 17 16

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  2. ^ "HV71 2013–14 player statistics". eliteprospects.com. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Fiala hailed by Ulf Dahlen". expressen.se. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Nashville Predators (15 July 2014). "Nashville Predators sign first round pick Fiala". NHL.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. ^ Nashville Predators (28 June 2014). "Nashville Predators Select Kevin Fiala with the 11th Pick in the 2014 Entry Draft". NHL.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  6. ^ Bontorin, Matthew (28 June 2014). "2014 NHL Draft Prospects Profiles: Kevin Fiala". NHL.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  7. ^ Nashville Predators (16 January 2015). "Predators Assign 2014 First Rounder Kevin Fiala to Milwaukee". NHL.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  8. ^ Vingan, Adam (24 March 2015). "Predators' Kevin Fiala impressive in NHL debut". The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  9. ^ Willis, Thomas (14 April 2017). "Kevin Fiala to Make "Second" Playoff Debut". NHL.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets". Nashville Predators. 14 January 2016.
  11. ^ Glennon, John (13 December 2016). "Fiala Knows Development is Part of the Process". NHL.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Predators' Kevin Fiala out for rest of playoffs with fractured femur". si.com. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Predators acquire Granlund from Wild for Fiala". The Sports Network. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Holiday hockey is best to watch prospects". freep.com. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Kevin Fiala". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b Campbell, Ken (9 May 2014). "Kevin Fiala completes Swiss hockey trifecta". Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  17. ^ Manasso, John. "Predators' Fiala part of upward trend in Swiss talent". NHL.com. Retrieved 12 August 2014.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Seth Jones
Nashville Predators first round draft pick
2014
Succeeded by
Dante Fabbro