June 29 update: The Wild have sent Fiala to the Los Angeles Kings, per Michael Russo. In return, Minnesota is getting hometown product Brock Faber. Faber was LA’s 2022 first-round pick.
According to sources, the #mnwild have traded the rights to pending restricted free agent Kevin Fiala to the #lakings for their 2022 first-round pick and University of Minnesota captain Brock Faber— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 29, 2022
The trade market for Minnesota Wild wing Kevin Fiala is “intensifying” this week, per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Fiala is a pending restricted free agent once the NHL free agency period opens on July 13 at noon ET. The Wild don’t have a ton of cap flexibility and that has led to rumors Fiala will be dealt.
The 25-year-old Swedish forward set a career high with 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 82 games this past season. His previous career high in points was 54 with Minnesota back in 2019-20 in 64 games. Chances are Fiala’s next contract lands somewhere in the $7-8 million per season range. That would be tough for the Wild to work with considering the money tied up on the blue line and with star wing Kirill Kaprizov.
The New Jersey Devils have been rumored to be in on Fiala. The Devils have a lot of assets, including the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. New Jersey could use the pick in a package for Fiala, who would be a big upgrade in the top 6 at wing. Fiala could project on the first or second line, centered either by Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier. A package of the No. 2 pick and 2021 first-rounder Alexander Holtz could be plenty enticing to the Wild. Minnesota could use the pick to find another solid young prospect to grow into a role in the top 6 with Kaprizov.
The other team being linked to Fiala is the Ottawa Senators. The Sens have been a mess of a franchise since advancing to the East Finals in 2017. They have a handful of solid young forwards led by Brady Tkachuk and Drake Batherson. There’s also Thomas Chabot on the blue line. Ottawa has the No. 7 overall pick in 2022 and can dangle some picks and prospects in a Fiala deal.