Minutes after trading away Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist for James Neal, the Predators selected Kevin Fiala with the 11th overall pick.
Fiala comes from HV-71 in Sweden, but hails from Uzwil, Switzerland. He's also played on the Swiss junior team for several years.
A very skilled forward, Fiala projects to be a two-way center, and could very well slot onto the top two lines in a few years. He will most likely return to play in Sweden this year, then could see some time in Milwaukee. There's no reason to rush him, as he need some time to get used to North America and develop his game.
Offensively, Fiala is a fairly balanced player. He has a good offensive IQ, is a creative passer, has a hard shot, and is also a very speedy and shifty skater. On top of that, he is physical and hard working. In order to make it to the next level, he needs to work on his game defensively but he certainly has time to do so.
Despite it being very rare, you obviously always hope for the ideal. Three things that can really bode well for a player doing well down the road are vision, work ethic, and stepping it up when needed and Fiala possesses all three of these. This, of course, does not mean he is a shoe-in for a first line player but it definitely helps his chances.
No one available in the 11th position was going to be able to slot into the Preds' lineup and make an immediate impact. With Fiala, Nashville gets another offensive player to put in the pipeline and give some hope for an increase in scoring down the line.
We'll have more over the coming days.