We continue our 2014 NHL Draft coverage today with another prospect profile; over the next month Defending Big D will be dedicated to covering every aspect of the draft and the Dallas Stars needs and goals heading into the summer.
Today's profile looks at LW Kevin Fiala from HV71 in Sweden.
Kevin Fiala, LW, 5'10", 180lbs, Shoots Left
|2012-2013||Malmo J18 (J18 Allsvenskan)||8||5||4||9||4||28|
|2012-2013||Malmo J20 (SuperElit)||33||9||19||28||-6||28|
|2013-2014||HV71 J20 (SuperElit)||27||10||15||25||10||40|
Fiala is a highly skilled Swiss forward who has spent the last two years playing in various Swedish hockey leagues. He's been one of the biggest climbers in this draft and will almost certainly be picked in the top 15 of the draft. In fact more mock drafts than not have this dynamic Swiss forward being drafted by the Dallas Stars.
Fiala is one of the most offensively gifted and intelligent prospects that could be drafted in the first round. He's shown a nack to score and set up goals against opposition that tends to be much older and larger than he is. He is a high possession forward who uses his top end skating to weave around onrushing opponents.
Fiala sees the ice incredibly well and can make the pin point pass or launch a fast shot past the goaltender. He's also guilty, like many at this age, of trying to be too fancy. While sometimes it looks good it also can go wrong and lead to a turnover and an opposition chance.
His defensive play isn't anywhere near the level of his offensive game and he can be caught out trying to cheat on the breakaway. Fiala size means that he's never going to deliver the bone crunching hits and it also limits his effectiveness in his own zone.
However Fiala's offensive skills more than make up for his defensive deficiencies. If the Dallas Stars were to draft him he'd bring an elite level talent to the prospect pool.
Scouting Reports from around the web:
Kevin Fiala is a dynamic skater. He has great speed and acceleration. He can beat defenders to the outside and get by them and cut to the net. He has great edgework and agility, and a tremendous first step. This gives him the ability to fool defenders with quick cuts and then turning on the jets. Fiala has very good balance and is strong on the puck and this should only improve as he continues to add muscle going forward.
Fiala is a gifted playmaker, with excellent puck-handling abilities and off-the-charts hockey IQ. While he's undersized, he's gritty and extremely difficult to bump off the puck, though his play without the puck will require improvement before he makes an impact at the NHL level.
Fiala is the 2014 Draft crops top Swiss prospect by far. His skill level is high, possessing quick and creative hands as well as a bullet shot. He skates well and displays impressive vision. He can turn the puck over though trying to avoid physical play.