2014 Draft Prospect Profile #9 - Kevin Fiala

We go back overseas once again to look at yet another young European skater with very good upside in the offensive zone in Kevin Fiala.

Kevin Fiala

Position: LW/RW
Current Team: HV 71 (Swedish Hockey League)
Date of Birth: July 22, 1996
Place of Birth: Uzwil, Switzerland
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 195 lbs
Shoots: Left

Kevin Fiala grew up in Switzerland, but quickly outplayed the opportunities there and moved on to Sweden and its higher-quality leagues for his 16-year-old season. He got his first taste of the top-shelf SHL at age 17, and didn't look out of place. He's definitely not the biggest, not the fastest, not the best two-way guy, but is very good with the puck on his stick and does have some sneaky quickness in his legs. He's slippery, and he has the offensive tools to finish around the net. He finished the year as the third-ranked European skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings.

Kevin Fiala is an offensive forward with game-breaking potential. He is a respectable and shifty skater with quick legs and explosive acceleration. Fiala owns a slick skill-set with soft hands, good stickhandling and brilliant puck-control. Not known for his defensive play, as he still needs to learn what it means to stick to a game-plan or doing exactly what the coach has told him. Fiala is not very big or strong yet, but his quickness and agility lets him avoid getting hit or held back along the boards. Has a wealthy arsenal of shooting tools which, combined with his creativity and finishing abilities, makes him the player you turn to if you need a goal. - Rafik Soliman - Elite Prospects

Gritty player with great hands, doesn’t mind going into traffic for a scoring chance. Got into it with [Bo] Horvat early on. Saw decent power play time and made great effort early in second to get excellent wraparound chance on Fucale. Assisted on Swiss goal but also coughed up the puck 4-on-4 on Canada’s 3-1 goal. Currently plays for HV 71 in Sweden. - Ryan Kennedy, THN (World Juniors Recap)

Fiala is a high-end offensive talent who plays with a chip on his shoulder. Positionally he is inconsistent at this stage of his development in terms of defending. But his creativity combined with quick skating, shooting, stick handling and passing skills — and the ability to find open spaces — make him dangerous every time he's on the ice. - Hockeys's Future

A Good Fit in Columbus?

At the outset, you'd like to say yes. He can skate and elude contact, and his hands and offensive abilities are as good as almost anyone else in this draft. That said, he's far from a complete player, and isn't known to be a strong defender at this point in his career. He's still young, however, and if he plays with the grit and chip on his shoulder that some scouts say he has, he would be a decent fit for what the Blue Jackets are trying to do. You'd have to love his hands and his shot, for sure. You can always teach defense, eh?

Fiala in Action

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