National Hockey League

NHL - Over the next two days, leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft on Friday and Saturday, we will have a look at the most promising Swiss prospects and the top prospects in general. Part I: Kevin Fiala, the Swiss sensation.


- Born 22 July 1996 in Uzwil SG | 178 cm | 82 kg | LW/RW
- Current team: HV71 Jönköping, SHL
- Draft-Rankings: CS EU - #3 / ISS - #20

Kevin Fiala, 17, is THE Swiss sensation in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. The native of Uzwil rose from a projected second- or third-round pick to a first rounder thanks to his strong performances with the Swiss national junior team at both the U18 and U20 World Junior Championships, where he carried his team and was the standout player with nine points in five games (WJC18) and five points in five games (WJC20), respectively.

He had a great season in Sweden with both the youth team and the SHL team of HV71 Jönköping. He scored ten goals and 15 assists for the U20-team and then went on to score eleven points (three goals, eight assists) in 17 regular season games and six points (one goal, five assists) in eight playoff appearances after his call-up to the “big guys”.

In Sweden, the 17-year-old had the highest scoring rate among under-18 players since the pending Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Peter Forsberg. At the end of the season, Fiala became only the third player in history to suit up for his country not only at two World Juniors, but also at the Men’s World Championship in Minsk. There, he impressed the scouts with two assists and a decent performance throughout the tournament.

Fiala’s biggest assets are his brilliant puck handling, his great shot and his quickness. Scouts are impressed with his dynamic style of play and his Hockey IQ. He lacks size and strength, but has already shown that he is able to produce against bigger and stronger opponents. While he surely has to improve his two-way game to make it to the NHL, Fiala has a very high ceiling and is a “high-reward” prospect for a franchise in need of a blue-chip offensive prospect. At some point in the last few months, projections saw him getting drafted as high as number 7 or 8 (Carolina or Toronto’s pick), but it’s more likely that he goes somewhere between 11 (Nashville) and 20 (San Jose).