Kevin Fiala has already gotten a small dose of life in the National Hockey League.
He will get even more experience this season. Nashville’s first-round pick, 11th overall, from the 2014 NHL Draft has cracked the Predators’ opening night roster, the team announced Sunday.
The decision certainly adds another skilled forward to the Predators’ lineup, as they look to improve on their second-round playoff appearance last season.
The 20-year-old Fiala makes the Predators after having six games of NHL experience over the previous two seasons. He scored his first goal for the Predators last season.
He has also put up very good numbers in the American Hockey League, with 18 goals and 50 points in 66 games with Milwaukee last season, following a disappointing demotion to the minors during last year’s training camp.
“There’s a dynamic to his game that’s really special. … He has the ability to be a difference maker,” Predators head coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean this summer.
“He has the skill set, and training camp will be an opportunity for him to show that.”
And, given the news Sunday, he took advantage of that opportunity.