The Minnesota Wild have re-signed key forward Kevin Fiala. This deal will keep the skater in the Twin Cities for next season. Fiala’s new contract is for one year and $5.1 million. The deal avoids arbitration. Elliot Freidmann of Sportsnet was first with the news and the team gave confirmation on their official account.
Done deal with Kevin Fiala! ✍️
The #mnwild has signed forward Kevin Fiala to a one-year contract.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) August 16, 2021
Wild Extend Kevin Fiala
Fiala was a big part of Minnesota’s success in 2020-21. He scored 20 goals and 40 points in 50 games while averaging 16:54 of ice time per game. It was the second consecutive season with a point-per-game pace of .080 or better. It is also very encouraging to see that his possession stats improved again to the tune of a 57.1 percent Corsi For and a 13.7 Relative Corsi. Some of Fiala’s success is due to heavy deployment in the offensive zone, but it was a quality campaign by almost any traditional or advanced statistic.
The Nashville Predators originally drafted Fiala 11th overall in the 2014 Draft. The Swiss skater posted 45 goals and 97 points in 204 games for the Preds before heading to the Wild in a 2019 trade for Mikael Granlund. Overall, Fiala has 91 goals and 198 points in 337 games, but he has definitely found a strong home in Minnesota’s system. Good things will come based on his recent history.
What This Means For The Future
The Wild have secured another core piece for 2021-22. First, it was Joel Eriksson Ek and then Nick Bjugstad extended his time in the land of 10,000 lakes. The team has very few major pending free agents left before next year begins. Of course, one of those is still Kirill Kaprizov, who is vital to anything Minnesota might do. The good thing is that the team should have enough space to retain their most important player.
Fiala has a prime opportunity to really settle into a top role. He wasn’t quite as excellent as he was in 2019-20, but a long-term deal and a slot in Minnesota’s improving top-six is exactly what he needs to shine. Do not be surprised if he challenges for 55-60 points in a full 82-game season next year.
Embed from Getty Images