TLN Draft Profile: Kevin Fiala

Name: Kevin Fiala

Position: Left Wing/Right Wing

Height: 5’11

Weight: 180lbs

Junior Team: HV71 (SHL)

Rankings: NHL CSS – 3rd (EUR), ISS – 20th, Justin’s List – 13th, Logan’s List – 7th

The Swiss Czech-born, Swiss bred, Swedish League playing Fiala is one of the most offensively exciting prospects in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft – mainly due to posting the second highest PPG rate ever in the SHL among under-18 players. The one guy ahead of him? Peter Forsberg.

Starting the year in a Swedish Under 20 league, he found himself in the SHL (the top men’s league in Sweden), contributing 11 points in 17 games and impressing scouts, princesses, and Obama in the process. 

The Good

Fiala is one of the most offensively-gifted players in the draft – puck skills, speed, hands, playmaking and goalscoring ability – he has it all. He’s already shown he can play very well in a men’s league and adapt his game to do so.  

He also has a bit of a scrappy edge to him, so he’s not some typical, soft Euro. I.E. You can expect lots of chances generated and quick little slashes after the whistle. It’s a great combo. 

The Bad

Fiala could definitely bulk up a bit, but that’ll come with the proper training and nutrition that an NHL team forces upon their players. 

He’s also not exactly known for his defence, and had a tendency to try to do everything by himself – although that’s a habit that seems to have died once he began playing in the SHL. 

Is he a good choice?

Ask most scouts at the beginning of the year and they say no, but no one’s stock has jumped as much as Fiala’s. He was great in a high quality men’s league and impressed in every international tournament he played in. 

In short, yes – although some may feel that he’s still a bit of a reach at #8. Personally, I don’t. 

What are the scouts saying?

“Quick skater with surprisingly shifty movements. Loves to have the puck on his stick and handles it well with very quick hands; plays similar to Chicago’s Patrick Kane. Unpredictable player who can make moves and find teammates with passes that few other players in this draft class can.” – Future Considerations’ 2014 NHL Draft Guide

“Can control the tempo of the game with his skating and slick puck handling skills. Arguably the best player for the Swiss at the WJC as a go-to-guy despite being the youngest player on the team. Improved on integrating his team mates better at the SHL level after displaying a tendency to try to do it all on his own at the J20 level.” – McKeen’s 2014 NHL Draft Guide

Comparisons

Well, Fiala is smallish and fast and has good puck skills…so Patrick Kane? Sure. May as well throw Pavel Bure in there. Hell, think Wayne Gretzky but faster. 

He’s also Swiss, so Nino Niederreiter, Mark Streit, Jonas Hiller, and the Weber Sportcars Faster One are applicable too.

  • FlareKnight

    This is one I’m a bit uneasy about. There is a lot of skill there so can hardly say it’s a bad pick. Just that when looking at all the guys who have to be there no matter how 1-7 shakes out…I just find it hard to say this guy has to be the pick over those guys.

    Feels a bit more like a trade back target. But hey, the scouts know more than I do. So will try to get behind whatever guy we pick up.

  • FlareKnight

    I feel the same way Blackstar…err FlareKnight ^_^

    Fiala is a guy you trade back to pick up around the 12-15 range. But he could be like a Mark Scheifele selection where he was ranked 16th and went 7th. He could just keep the upward trajectory after being drafted yet we see the late rise as an anomaly.