Kevin Fiala’s recent streak of brilliance has helped the Nashville Predators first place in the Central Division and showcased to the NHL his magic touch.
Back in 2014, the Nashville Predators made a big decision. They chose to draft a forward in the first round for the first time since 2010 (Austin Watson). On the board at number eleven overall were players like Dylan Larkin, Sonny Milano, Nick Schmaltz, Robby Fabbri and David Pastrnak. But someone caught David Poile’s eye.
A 5’10, St. Gallen, Switzerland native named Kevin Fiala stood out to the GM. The young gun entered the draft ranked as the third best European skater and was playing for HV-71 in the Swedish Hockey League. Draft reports called him a “shifty” forward who was an elusive skater. His confidence playing in a physical league remained the biggest concern. Weighing the good and bad, Poile made the decision to draft Kevin Fiala eleventh overall and the rest was history.
The 2014-15 season gave Fiala his first NHL game. The 2015-16 season gave Fiala his first NHL goal. Finally, during the 2016-17 season, the young Swiss got a chance to play over fifty regular season contests. Despite moving down to Milwaukee several times during the campaign, Fiala’s name was on the roster for the playoff opener against the Chicago Black Hawks. Before suffering a season ending injury, Fiala importantly netted two post-season goals in Nashville’s sweep of Chicago.
As the 2017-18 season got underway, noticing Kevin Fiala was not difficult. The problem? He just couldn’t score. Despite getting more scoring chances than many of his teammates, it just would not go in.
Finally, on Novemeber 14, it finally came.
Since then, four more goals have flown off the stick of number 22. Additionally, his dynamic puck movement has made it easier for his teammates to score. Let’s break a couple of these down, shall we?