Scorer Fiala adding penalty-kill duties to his well-rounded game

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The team's leading scorer since he arrived in 2019, Kevin Fiala has improved his defensive play and gained more trust of coach Dean Evason.
Kevin Fiala has been on the ice late in the game when only one goal separates both teams.

He's also in action when there's a power play.

But his intent in these situations isn't to score.

The winger with a nose for the net is actually trying to prevent offense.

"I just think I can do more," Fiala said. "I want more, and I think I can do it, too. I think I'm one of those guys that wants to be always better at something else."

Since joining the franchise in 2019, the 25-year-old has been the Wild's top producer and is coming off back-to-back 20-goal seasons. But his repertoire is expanding.

Fiala is getting the chance to leverage his playmaking skills in a new way, by defending other teams when the Wild is outnumbered, and he appreciates the opportunity to show there's more to his game than goals.

"The best players in the world, they do everything," Fiala said. "They're not just [offensive]. When I think about myself, that's going to be my next step and be [an] all-around type of guy.

"That's my goal for this season and for the future."

This evolution started to take shape last season.

After barely crossing paths with the penalty kill in his first year with the Wild following a trade from Nashville, Fiala began to take reps with the PK. Now, he's averaging more than a minute and a…
Sarah McLellan
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