Well, so much for that mock draft pick. The Los Angeles Kings kicked off the pre-draft trade season by trading their 2022 first-round pick (19th overall) and defensive prospect Brock Faber for restricted free agent Kevin Fiala. Faber was a 2020 second-round pick who posted 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists) in 32 games with the University of Minnesota. He also appeared on Team USA in the Olympics, recording one assist in four games.
After acquiring Fiala, a former first round pick of the Nashville Predators, it was reported that the Kings signed him to a 7-year deal with an AAV of $7.875 million. The Swiss forward had a breakout season at age 25 with the Wild, posting 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 82 games, besting his career marks by a considerable margin.
As the chart indicates, Fiala brings first-line offense to the Kings. The bulk of the offense has come at 5v5 play as well, he only posted five goals and one assist on the power play last season. So, it should give Los Angeles a player to compliment Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe on the top line.
The Kings were able to dip into their prospect pool and acquire a talented forward that will be in his prime for the bulk of his contract. Los Angeles made a bold move that helps them keep pace in the Western Conference and shows the league that they are ready to be consistently competitive. It also lessens some of the pressure on their young prospects as they acclimate to life in the NHL.
With the deal, Minnesota acquires a couple of future pieces for a player they probably would not have been able to afford as he was due a pretty nice raise over his $5.1 million salary from last season.