Sunday, August 2, 2020

Kevin Fiala Jersey Card

Kevin Fiala scored the Minnesota Wild's first goal of the 2019-20 postseason, cementing his position as the team's next offensive star, after posting 54 points in 64 regular-season games, including no less than 14 goals and 26 points in the final 18 games.

It's not that people didn't think he could make it - he was, after all, the 11th-overall pick of the 2014 draft, ahead of the likes of Jakub Vrana (13th), Dylan Larkin (15th), Travis Sanheim (17th), Alex Tuch (18th), Tony DeAngelo (19th), Nick Schmaltz (20th), Robby Fabbri (21st), David Pastrnak (25th), Brayden Point (79th) and Viktor Arvidsson (112th) - but the fact that it took him power forward-type years (his sixth season) to put the ingredients together in a way that maximizes his skill-set against opponents must have a few scouts breathing easier in Nashville nowadays.

Although former Wild GM Paul Fenton - who had previously worked in the Nashville Predators' front office - was probably among those who held him in high esteem, considering he's the one who tagged prized young forward Mikael Granlund as the one to move South so that Fiala could come to the State of Hockey.

Considering the Wild has eight players over the age of 30 on their regular 20-man roster in Eric Staal (34), Mikko Koivu (36), Ryan Suter (34), Zach Parise (35), Mats Zuccarello (32), Brad Hunt (31) and goalies Alex Stalock (32) and Devan Dubnyk (33), they can sure use Fiala's fresh 23-year-old legs to lead them into the future.

Here he is wearing the Preds' ugly yellow (home) uniform from five years ago on card #RRJ-KF from Upper Deck's 2015-16 Ice set and Rookie Relic Jumbos sub-set:
It features a large blue jersey swatch that was worn in a rookie photo shoot, and is numbered 275/299. I got it on Ebay a couple of months ago, knowing I was going to be talking about him in the enar future, whether it was during the Play-in or the offseason.

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