Nashville Predators: Kevin Fiala’s First Full NHL Season Shows Huge Potential

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Following a 48 point campaign in his first full NHL season, Nashville Predators’ budding star Kevin Fiala has fans excited for the future of #22.

In his first full NHL season with the Nashville Predators, Swiss winger Kevin Fiala showed why he has the potential to be a superstar. He tallied 23 goals and 25 assists in 80 games for Nashville this season. His 48 points were 7th best on the team, and his 23 goals and 80 games played were both 4th best.

Coming off of the gruesome leg injury that he suffered in last year’s playoff run, Fiala’s 80-game year was a surprise. The 21-year-old showed his durability and toughness this season.

Although fans got their first real glimpse of Fiala last year, he still spent 22 games in the AHL in 2016-2017. It seems as if he’s in his third or fourth year already, however, Fiala is just barely getting started for Nashville.

He tallied 11 goals and 5 assists in 54 games for Nashville two seasons ago. However, with more ice time, experience, and offensive responsibility, Fiala’s numbers rocketed upwards. His 48 point year could just be the beginning of a superstar career for #22.

Offensive Catalyst

For many parts of this season, Fiala seemed to be the engine that made the Predators offense go. Once Kyle Turris arrived, the line of Turris, Fiala, and Craig Smith did some serious damage for almost two straight months and was among the most dangerous lines in the league.

For the months of December and February, Fiala was a man on a mission. In the Predators 13 games in December, Fiala racked up 8 goals and 4 assists, with goals in 8 of the first 9 games of the month. Three times that month, he tallied multiple points in a game.

Then in February, Fiala recorded 7 goals and 3 assists in 14 games, also adding three more multi-point nights.

Plays like this became common for the Swiss boy wonder.

He was always around the puck and the net, creating great chances for the other Predators.

His positive impact on the ice is reflected through his Corsi percentage, which clocked in at 55.9%, 21st best in the NHL among players who played at least 50 games this season. That stat alone puts him in elite NHL company, as the Predators were exponentially better with him on the ice this season. Another notable stat to add to Fiala’s Corsi, is his +20 rating on the year, a shining number for such a young skater.


Besides his goals in games one and two vs Winnipeg, Fiala wasn’t much of a factor in the playoffs. However, I will defend him a bit here and say that his entire line was pretty terrible throughout the playoffs.

And honestly, not many other Predators played well either.

The only real thing that I can say about Fiala’s playoffs is that playoff performance comes with experience. Fiala will develop a sense of consistency as he ages, and surely be a factor in the future Cup runs. I’ll end the playoff talk though with this video of Fiala’s GW goal in 2OT of Game 2 vs Winnipeg.

The Kid has silky mitts, and just knows how to make plays happen. You can’t teach that, which is why I’m so excited about his future.

The Future

Many rave about the young depth of the Nashville Predators. Kevin Fiala is as much a part of that depth as anyone else. He is just 21 years old, and has produced as much an anyone else in the league that is his age.

He makes plays, knows where to be, and makes others around him better. Fiala is a player that I can honestly say has superstar potential. Every time he touches the puck, I feel like he’s about to do something special. Fiala has a laser shot, great accuracy, and elite hands.

KEVIN FIALA. B+. . LW. Nashville Predators

For his efforts this season, I give Fiala a B+.

Had he have been consistent throughout the year, and made a splash in the playoffs, he would be looking at an A. He was just too streaky this year, and needs to find a consistent game.

I have no doubt that it’ll come though.

Next: Ryan Johansen solid leader for team’s top line

At just 21 years old, and with what he’s already shown, there is lots to be excited about with Kevin Fiala. After 48 points in his first full NHL season, I don’t think a 30 goal, 60 point season in 2018-2019 is far-fetched.

Let’s just hope the kid stays healthy…and in Nashville.

Stay silky FiFi.