It’s been over three months since the Saskatoon Blades 2016-17 season came to an end March 18 in Prince Albert. Evan Fiala had a lot of time to think about this coming season. The rugged 19-year-old defenseman became even more motivated to put the skates back on when he learned of his invitation to the development camp of the Detroit Red Wings.
“I found out just a couple months ago,” said Fiala who thought it might be bad news when he got a text from his agent to give him a call.
“Right then and there I’m kind of worried, I’m not sure what’s going on, then he let me know and it’s just an amazing feeling, knowing you have a chance(to play pro hockey).”
The 6’ 4” 205lb product of Clavet, SK, is coming off career highs of 19-points (including four goals) and 139 PIM while splitting the 2016-17 campaign between Spokane and Saskatoon and is thrilled to be a Blade following last season’s pre-Christmas trade from the Chiefs.
“ I was really fortunate for that trade and to be in that location. I had a lot of help, that’s for sure, not only my teammates, but the coaching staff there, it’s phenominal, being in your home town, being in your city, playing that kind of hockey, it’s been huge for me ”
The former Sask Valley Viper Bantam jumped to the Midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts for two seasons which included an appearance in the 2013 Telus Cup.
Fiala has become a hard-nosed WHL rearguard in just over three full seasons and that’s the type of game he plans to take into the Traverse City, Mich., camp, where he will be amongst 18-rearguards.
“I’m not going to stray far from what I know and from what I know I can do well at, trying to show them the Clavet born tough defenseman.”
Fiala wasn’t taken in the NHL draft, but the 2012 first round Bantam pick, selected 14-overall, by the Chiefs, did take part in the development and rookie camps of the Florida Panthers in 2015.