Fantasy Take: Fiala Moved to LA

Ian Gooding

2022-06-29

The Los Angeles Kings have acquired left wing Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild for defenseman prospect Brock Faber and a first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Fiala is coming off a career-best 1.04 PTS/GP (85 PTS), where he was particularly strong in the second half (56 PTS in 44 GP). That's becoming the theme for Fiala's career, as he was also a better second-half performer in 2020-21. With the bill coming due in 2022-23 for the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts, the Wild were in a precarious cap situation and elected to trade Fiala as a result. Fiala was immediately granted a seven-year contract with a cap hit of $7.875 million from the Kings.   

Fiala's linemates on the Wild tended to vary, but the one constant was that he was never used with Kirill Kaprizov at even strength (both are LW). With his new contract in hand, expect Fiala to be thrust into a top-line role on the Kings with Anze Kopitar. The fact that Fiala does not need to line up with a team's top scorer should leave his fantasy value unaffected, but it could provide a boost for Kopitar and Adrian Kempe.

Alex Iafallo could be bumped off the top line and perhaps even out of the top 6 entirely, especially if the other scoring line of Trevor Moore, Phillip Danault, and Viktor Arvidsson remains as is. Iaffalo could also be the odd man out when it comes to first-unit power-play time, so he stands to lose the most with the Fiala arrival. That being said, Moore is also a possibility to be demoted from the top 6. The lines could be in flux to start the season anyway with Arvidsson recovering from offseason herniated disc surgery.

Marco Rossi keeper owners were probably already making room on their rosters for their blue-chip prospect in anticipation of a Fiala trade. Now that it's official, Rossi seems like a slam dunk to make the Wild roster and could even contribute in the top 6 right away. Matt Boldy, who was one of Fiala's most frequent linemates this past season, could end up on Rossi's line.

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