Nashville Predators Kevin Fiala: Making the Right Moves

Nashville Predators left winger Kevin Fiala (56) . Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators left winger Kevin Fiala (56) . Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala has had some bumps in the road in the past but looks to right the ship this year.

Nashville Predators Kevin Fiala has a lot of things going for him. Not only is the Swiss capable of speaking in five languages –  Czech, English, French, German and Swedish – but he is a darn good hockey player with tons of potential. We at Predlines go as far to say that he could be the next Craig Smith.

Fiala was drafted by the Predators 11th overall in the 2014 NHL draft and with that comes the lofty expectations to produce and produce quickly. Thus far, Fiala has had some opportunity at the NHL level playing in seven games for the Predators since being drafted, six regular-season games and one playoff game.

While still green in his NHL career, there have been flashes of brilliance that get fans excited to see the young gun on the ice. Below, Fiala was able to get his first NHL goal in January in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets by gaining good position against the defender and burying the puck in the net.

Things haven’t gone entirely smooth for Fiala. When not spending time with the Nashville Predators, he spent it with the Milwaukee Admirals. This past season, Fiala totaled 50 points but some of this excitement is overshadowed by some poor decisions he made.

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As pointed out by Adam Vingan‘s earlier article in The Tennessean,  Fiala has had some problems keeping his attitude in check. Said Fiala, “I was really disappointed that I didn’t make the team because I was probably not good enough… That made me angry. I wasn’t angry at anybody else. Just me.”

Unfortunately, his anger continued to get the best of him and he ultimately ended up getting suspended for two games after he gave an opponent’s bench an obscene gesture. Fiala was making it difficult for people to believe in him and his potential if these were the kind of antics he would be known for.

Luckily, as the seasons change and the calendar year turns over, so does the past. Fiala is presented with an opportunity to silence those that may feel he is not mature enough. He understands that patience will be key in his ultimate rise to the Predators roster and in doing so must, as he says, “respect the process.”

If Fiala hopes to make it to the Preds roster this coming season, he must continue to push hard and keep his work ethic at full speed. Even though he may be small, he is incredibly agile and quick and must use this to his advantage to stand out. Whenever you see a player fly down the ice like a lightening bolt, you take notice.

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Hopefully, this is the year that Fiala can mature to the point of landing a spot on the Nashville Predators roster (crazy to be asking a 19-year-old to be more mature). In the end, it seems likely he will land in Milwaukee to further polish his skills. But don’t be surprised if you see him in the blue and gold occasionally this season.