According to The Athletic's Michael Russo the Minnesota Wild are trading the rights to restricted free agent Kevin Fiala to the L.A. Kings for a first round draft pick and University of Minnesota captain Brock Faber.
It was believed that it would be a difficult proposition for Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin to find a way to keep Kevin Fiala heading into the 2022-2023 NHL season. With the bought out contracts of Parise and Suter both on the books for next season, the Wild had to make a choice. Having just paid Kirill Kaprizov before last season, the money was getting tighter and dealing Fiala appeared to be the smart play.
MN WILD RELEASE...
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired defenseman Brock Faber and a first-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Kevin Fiala.
Faber, 19 (8/22/02), collected 14 points (2-12=14), 12 penalty minutes (PIM), a plus-8 rating and 37 blocked shots in 32 games with the University of Minnesota during the 2021-22 season. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of Maple Grove, Minn., was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten and an Academic All-Big Ten Team. He helped the Golden Gophers win the 2021-22 Big Ten Regular-Season Championship and advance to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 2014. The right-shot blueliner represented the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics and tallied one assist in four games. He owns 26 points (3-23=26), 26 PIM, a plus-25 rating and 76 blocked shots in 59 career games with the University of Minnesota (2020-22).
Prior to joining the Golden Gophers, Faber recorded 19 points (5-15=19), two game-winning goals (GWG) and 43 shots on goal in 54 career contests with the U.S. National Team Development Program in the United States Hockey League (USHL) in two seasons (2018-20). He won a gold medal with the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, a gold medal at the 2019 Five Nations Tournament and a silver medal at the 2020 Five Nations Tournament with the U.S. National Under-18 Team, a silver medal with the U.S. National Under-17 Team at the 2018 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament and a bronze medal at the 2019 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament. He was selected by the Kings in the second round (45th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft.
The Minnesota Wild currently owns eight draft picks in the 2022 NHL Draft: two first-round selections (19th & 24th overall), two second-round selections, one third-round selection, one fourth-round selection, one fifth-round selection and one sixth-round selection.
Fiala registered 186 points (79-107=186), 147 PIM, 21 power-play goals (PPG), 17 GWG and 642 shots on goal in 215 career games with Minnesota in four seasons (2018-22). He also totaled nine points (4-5=9), 28 PIM, two PPG, one GWG and 56 shots on goal in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Wild (2020-22).