NHL trade ratings: Wild sends Kevin Fiala to Kings for first-round pick and prospect
kings get: Left winger Kevin Fiala.
Get wild: A 2022 first-round pick and prospect Brock Faber.
Corey Pronman: Brock Faber has been a great player in college, being one of the best defensemen in his conference this season. He was very impressive for a teenager on Team USA at the Olympics and as part of their gold medal run at previous world junior championships. Faber is a great skater who plays hard and plans to be a quality NHL defenseman despite his small stature. The offense in his game doesn’t stand out, but he moves the puck quite well on his first few passes. He projects himself as a quality top-four NHL defenseman who can take tough defensive minutes but can’t rack up a lot of points.
Kevin Fiala had a career year of posting a point per game and being a top player on one of the NHL’s top offensive teams. Fiala is an extremely talented winger who can beat NHL defensemen 1-on-1 with consistency and make tough plays with the puck. He can be dangerous as a preparer or finisher. He’s a very strong skater, not a burner for an undersized guy, but his skating is an NHL asset. He also added shorthanded features to his game this season. I have some reservations about him being a point/game type player going forward, but he’s a legit high-end winger for the Kings.
The Kings have a deep farm system so I like that they leverage that to acquire a great player, although losing Faber may sting as he’s become a real premium NHL defensive prospect after being a pick of second round in 2020. The price of the seven-year extension at $7.875 million AAV for Fiala is expensive as a restricted free agent who does not play a privileged position, so they risk that he remains excellent for quite some time time. It’s a move teams make to go from rebuilding to legit and I respect the Kings seeing a window open, especially since their division doesn’t look that deep.
The Wild are a worse team now than they were yesterday, but they have big young assets they can pay entry-level deals to and weren’t going to pay Fiala what he wanted. I like this job for both teams.
—Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 29, 2022
Dom Luszczyszyn: Can’t say I know Brock Faber well, but if Corey Pronman projects him into the top four defensemen (and no more), this comeback seems light for a legit top player who just scored 85 points on the season last .
Admittedly, the Wild didn’t carry much weight here. Getting a top prospect plus a first-round pick is decent considering the circumstances, it’s just a shame it even got to this point. That the Wild were forced to accept a return that probably won’t come close to matching Kevin Fiala’s value is obviously not ideal.
Fiala has stood out since joining the Wild and has broken out in a big way, especially in 2021-22. He’s become an incredibly productive player and although he has some defensive warts, he makes up for that with his dynamic attacking ability. He is one of the best players in the league to carry the puck on the ice and is excellent at creating chances in the offensive zone.
He’s exactly the type of player the Kings need to take the team from ‘good’ to ‘great’. Fiala has the ability to do that as a winger who should be worth around three worth wins and immediately becomes the team’s most productive striker. Finishing ability is something the Kings desperately needed and Fiala addresses that issue.
While the return is modest for the Wild, it’s not much for the Kings who have a very deep prospect pool they can now tap into for real NHL talent. I’m always wary of prospect-centric deals because there’s still a big chance they won’t go as planned. We know what Fiala is and he is a game-changing point-per-game winger. These types of players don’t show up very often and the Kings did a good job of acquiring such a player, in their prime, for a cost that wasn’t very high.
The Wild did what they could, but it’s a slam dunk for Los Angeles.
Sean Kind: I like what both teams have done here, actually. Well done, everyone.
We’ve been waiting for some sort of all-in(ish) move from the Kings for a while. Jack Eichel was always a pipe dream, and there was no reason to pay expiration prices on a team that – fun as it was to watch, and despite all the tweaks they gave the Oilers – didn’t not really worth the investment.
The problem with this seven-game series against Edmonton, however, is that the Kings have shown they are worth it. They have something nice in the oven, and adding a player like Fiala – a productive, talented, top-notch player who immediately signed a seven-year, $7.875 million extension – was the next logical step. , especially in a scenario where he didn’t cost the Kings, say, Quinton Byfield.
And hey, he didn’t. Now the Kings are an even more interesting mix of guys in their prime like Fiala, Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe, slightly outdated/still productive stars like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty and a solid group of newcomers. like Byfield and Sean Durzi. I’m not sure I’d pick them to win the Pacific Division, but they’re going to be a lot of fun.
Fiala, meanwhile, made perfect sense for Los Angeles. If you’re a little hesitant about the contract year numbers he put up, I don’t blame you – but still, he’s a 25-year-old who just finished an 85-year-old season. points, with the sort of elite finishing ability. the Kings were clearly missing. Guys like that don’t grow on trees, and they don’t come to market often. Minnesota’s situation was unusual and some teams were going to reap the benefits.
That being said, I like what Bill Guerin has done here. Faber is a highly regarded player with Minnesota roots (it’s not that important), and first-round picks are always nice to have…especially when you’ve drafted as well as the Wild in the last few years. . Plus, Faber is cheap, and that’s vital for a team about to enter the Cape’s backcountry. The Wild didn’t have a ton of influence, and keeping Fiala certainly would have been better than sending him to California, but they still have a solid shot.
(Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)