According to Elliotte Friedman and Michael Russo, Kevin Fiala has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for the 2022 first-round selection (19th overall) and defenseman Brock Faber.
Fiala was a huge contributing member to the Wild’s best season in franchise history. He scored 85 points in 82 games including 33 goals, and along with Matt Boldy and Frederick Gaudreau (another former Nashville Predator), helped form one of the most potent lines in the entire NHL. His skill with the puck and strong shooting ability will be incredibly useful to the Kings’ top six. It’s also being reported that the young Swiss forward will be signed to a long-term extension for approximately $7.9 million AAV along with the move. After a “prove it” season in Minnesota, it appears that Fiala got the money he was looking for.
After losing in the first round to the Edmonton Oilers in the 2021-22 NHL playoffs, the Kings secured the 19th overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. Thanks to this transaction, the Wild now have the 19th and 24th overall selections in this year’s first round.
The most interesting piece is Brock Faber, a young defenseman from Maple Grove, Minnesota. He was the 45th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft by the Kings, and has played two seasons at the University of Minnesota. In his most recent season, he scored 14 points in 32 games, which was tied for 12th on the team.
Faber is a strong skating, right-shot defenseman that uses calculated maneuvers to get the puck to open space, and it’s going to be fun seeing him on the Wild backend. He uses his 6-foot, 190-pound frame as much as he can to ward off defenders when rushing with the puck, and paired with a strong hockey mind, the Wild could get a very serviceable player in their top four. There’s no rush for him to join the team at this point, but it’s a strong pick-up by Wild general manager Bill Guerin.
Fiala will certainly be missed by Wild faithful, as he brought speed and agility to the every night lineup. But adding an extra first-round selection in the draft and a strong right-handed defenseman is a very solid return.