Well, it’s a small sample size.
Which isn’t uncommon from a first-round draft pick that isn’t selected first through fifth overall. Look at Matthew Boldy. He’s being touted as the next Mikko Rantanen, and he might not put on a Minnesotan Wild sweater until 2022. Boldy will develop at college for at least a year (could be as long as all four years he would be at Boston College, depending on his progression and the state of the State of Hockey), which isn’t what Kevin Fiala did.
Fiala played his first NHL game in the 2014-2015 season. That would be the only NHL game he played that year. The rest of his games would be played for the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL), HV71 (Swiss League), or the Swiss Under-20 team.
2015-2016 wasn’t much different. He played about two-thirds of his season with the Milwaukee Admirals and the other third with the Nashville Predators when it came to the final leg of the season.
In 2016-2017, Kevin Fiala proved to David Poile (Preds GM) that he deserved a spot in the Preds lineup. He played only 22 games in Milwaukee before playing the rest of his season in Nashville.
During his two extended stints with the Admirals, Fiala was producing just under PPG, which is nearing game-breaking status.
In 2017-2018, he posted 23 goals and 25 assists through 80 games- one season after his playoffs were cut short because he fractured his left femur. For those not caught up on your anatomy, the femur is one of the biggest bones in your body, tied only with your other femur. Seeing such a positive rebound after a devastating injury was truly awe-inspiring.
Before he got traded last season, the Preds were stricken by the injury bug but weren’t convinced that was the entirety of there ailments. They didn’t feel like they were getting the max output from their Sensational Swiss Star and decided to change it up. It just so happened that Poile’s protege had just received a job in St. Paul, and David decided that he was the perfect target to fleece. He somehow sold Paul Fenton that Mikael Granlund for Kevin Fiala was a perfect 1 for 1 ‘hockey’ trade and shipped Fiala out. Post-trade, neither side has outright won the deal. Neither player performed on par with what they had previously accomplished. But with Kevin Fiala only being 23, I am willing to bet that he will rebound quicker and more successfully than Granlund. But to make sure I fully dove into Kevin Fiala’s potential, I asked someone who saw Fiala as a prospect what his potential might be.