The Los Angeles Kings made a splash earlier this offseason, acquiring forward Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild.
In the deal, the Kings gave up the 19th overall pick in this year's draft, along with prospect Brock Faber. The Kings then immediately signed Fiala to a seven-year contract, which carries a $7.88 million cap hit.
Fiala is coming off a massive year, in which he scored 33 goals and 85 points in 82 games. I’ve gone in-depth about the trade before but in terms of the contract itself, it’s another win for the Kings.
The forward just turned 26 years old, meaning he’s arguably in the prime of his career and should have many good years left before he even begins to near 30. So while seven years seems like a lot, we could possibly see Fiala go through the entirety of his contract while producing at a high rate. With the cap expected to rise as well, the deal should start to look even better.
Fiala may not be able to repeat the 85 points that he posted last year, even though his shooting percentage was actually in line with the two previous years. That said, he’s managed the following goals and points per 82 pace over the last three seasons.
So while last season may have been an outlier points-wise, he still seems set to average at least 30 goals and 65-70 points per 82.
If Fiala can't manage 30 goals and is down around 65 points, the $7.88 million cap hit is still fairly reasonable. That said, if he's able to manage point-per-game numbers like he did last year, this is a contract that could provide great value for a long time.
Fiala will be an exciting player to watch, with great skating and agility and a strong playmaking abilities. Another important factor though is that the Kings are a young team. As the likes of Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev and others continue to develop, Fiala will have a lot of high-end talent around him, which could only help his production grow.
Los Angeles is out of their rebuild and are looking to start competing now, which makes this the ideal time to add a player like Fiala. He’s still young enough to provide high-end offense for the foreseeable future and betting on him as a long-term fit makes sense.
So while Fiala certainly ended up with a big contract, it’s one that should turn out well for the Kings.