Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  By Greg Pogue  |  Last updated 7/11/14
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- At just 17 years old, Kevin Fiala sure has a lot of folks trying to figure out his future, both immediate and long term. The 11th overall pick of the Nashville Predators in last month's NHL draft already carries a heap of expectations that his offensive prowess can be realized sooner then later. Raising that ante is the hiring of new coach Peter Laviolette, whose presence is to cultivate an offensive approach for a team long suffering in consistent goal production. "There is no hurry there," Fiala said on Friday, following a developmental camp session being held this week for Predators prospects at Bridgestone Arena. "I mean, I am 17 years old. I'm young. But my goal is NHL. It's my dream." Just where Fiala, who turns 18 on July 22, ends up this coming season is still a long way from being decided. With offensive skills duly noted, work at the developmental camp will go a long way in determining whether Fiala returns to Sweden to play in the top pro league there, get assigned to Milwaukee (the Preds' top minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League), or make the NHL roster from the get-go. "I don't know enough about him in terms of his maturity, both physically and mentally," Predators general manager David Poile said of where Fiala might end up. "I want to just do the right thing. I don't know what the right thing is to do just yet. We have a few more days here to get to see him and to know him." If he returns to Sweden, the Swiss-born forward will play for HV 7I in the Swedish Hockey League. Last season, he joined that team late, but still had three goals and 11 points in 17 regular-season games before tacking on one goal and six points in eight playoff games. "If he's back there (in Sweden), it's a very good league," said Predators chief amateur scout Jeff Kealty, who has seen Fiala play the most among the coaches and player personnel. "It's one of the top leagues in Europe. It would be a good spot for him to continue his development there, if that's the case." Fiala emerged on the scene earlier this year by hitting the hat trick in representing native Switzerland on three national teams. He played for his nation's top team in the 2014 World Championships, notching two assists in seven games. Fiala also had five points in five games at the World Junior Championship, while scoring four goals and five assists at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship. That made Fiala just the third-ever player to participate in all three world championships in one year. At the World Championships for Switzerland, he was teammates with two current Predators -- defenseman Roman Josi and forward Simon Moser. "I know a first-rounder has to be the best of the best," Fiala said. "So if you are the best, you can be here (in the NHL). I am going to do everything I can to get here as fast as I can. I wish to be in the NHL this year, of course. But I am looking forward to giving 100 percent and then I will take it step by step." In drafting Fiala, the Predators showed no concern that he's on the smallish side, standing only 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. "He's not the biggest guy," Kealty said, "but he's very strong and very well put together. He's only (soon to be) 18 years old, and you always want to get bigger and stronger, but I do think at his size, that's what we liked about him -- he's a sturdy guy and a strong guy. Despite his shorter stature, his strength will be a positive for him." That aside, the Predators had hoped Fiala would fall to them in the draft because they are seeking offense, and he has been a proven scorer at every level. "His offensive skills are excellent," Kealty said. "We believe that they are high end. He is a very creative player, loves to have the puck on his stick and a very competitive player. He wants to make a difference. You combine that talent with the competitiveness, I think that is why he has produced the way he has." Fiala admitted he didn't know what to expect during this week's developmental camp, where he was thrown into the mix among 32 Predators prospects, both drafted players and free agent signees. That group includes former Capitals first-round draft pick Filip Forsberg, a forward who turns 20 on Aug. 13 with high scoring potential. Forsberg had one goal and four assists in 13 games last season for the Predators. Training at the development camp has included a variety of on- and off-ice testing, off-ice activities and workouts, fundamentals, video work, media and nutrition education, team-building and training principles. The developmental camp culminates Saturday with a prospects scrimmage at 3:30 p.m. CDT at Bridgestone Arena as part of the team's annual open house for the general public. The players will conduct an autograph session at 5:30. "It was a great week for the first time in Nashville for me," Fiala said. "It shows me a lot of what I am going to face and learn about the system. We have good teammates here. Everybody has been very nice. "I thought the guys would not be that nice to each other. I thought it was going to be fighting or so on. But everybody has been nice, and I like that." Still, Fiala's immediate future will be determined before the Predators report to training camp in September, with or without him. "We need to sit down with his agent to see about the possibility of him coming to training camp," Poile said. "That may be a possibility. It may not be a possibility. We have to go through all those situations to see where we are. "I know he would like to come to training camp to see how he matches with our players. We would like that to see the same thing, but we haven't got that far."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs


Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

Predators News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker