Another young face has been called up to the big league and this time it is 18-year-old Kevin Fiala. Here’s an excerpt from the official Predators Presser:
Fiala, 18 (7/22/96), has amassed 17 points (9g-8a) in 26 American Hockey League games since making his North American professional debut with the Admirals on Jan. 21. The native of St. Gallen, Switzerland, started the 2014-15 season with HV-71 of the Swedish Hockey League, posting 14 points (5g-9a) in 20 games – tied for the fourth-most goals and assists, and sixth-most points among SHL junior players – before being assigned to Nashville’s AHL affiliate on Jan. 15. Fiala also represented Switzerland at the 2015 World Junior Championship, being named one of the nation’s three best players for the tournament while tying for fifth among all skaters in goals (4g-1a-5pts, 6gp).
The 5-10, 180-pound winger was a finalist for the 2014 SHL Rookie of the Year Award after tying for the lead in points among all under-18 SHL players with 11 (3g-8a) in 17 games for HV-71. He also represented his homeland at the World Junior Championship, Under-18 World Championship and World Championship in 2014, becoming just the third player ever to participate in all three tournaments in the same year (Andrei Kostitsyn and Vadim Karagan, Belarus in 2003). Fiala led the Swiss in points at both the under-18 tournament (4g-5a-9pts, 5gp), was named one of the nation’s three best players in the process, and World Juniors (1g-4a-5pts, 5gp) as the team’s youngest member. At 17, he was the youngest member of Switzerland’s entry at the World Championship by three years, posting three assists and a team-best +3 rating playing alongside Predators defenseman Roman Josi.
Fiala is poised to become the sixth member of the 2014 Draft to appear in the NHL, joining teammate Viktor Arvidsson (112th overall); Aaron Ekblad (FLA, first overall), Sam Reinhart (BUF, second overall), Leon Draisaitl (EDM, third overall) and David Pastrnak (BOS, 25th overall).
He speaks five languages – Czech, English, French, German and Swedish – and is on Twitter @KevinFiala22.
So, I am digging that last sentence – five languages? A man after my own linguistic heart. The young winger will wear No. 56 and there’s a good chance he’ll see have his NHL debut tonight. Like Viktor Arvidsson, Fiala is being recalled due to “emergency conditions”, but as to who he is being recalled still up in the air. I am, however, almost 100% it’s due to an injured Viktor Stalberg.