Kings’ Kevin Fiala named to NHL All-Star Game

LOS ANGELES –– When the Kings acquired Kevin Fiala over the summer, they were expecting an all-star caliber winger, and his status was solidified officially Thursday when he was named to the Pacific Division squad for this year’s all-star weekend in Florida on Feb. 3 and 4.

Fiala, 26, entered Thursday night’s game against the Boston Bruins topping the Kings in points (39), assists (29), shots on goal (119) and even-strength points (27). He is also tied for the team lead in power-play points with winger Viktor Arvidsson (12). Fiala had previously plied his trade with the Nashville Predators, who drafted him, and the Minnesota Wild, who dealt him to the Kings amid a salary-cap crunch.

“I think Kev has been a great addition to our team. His creativity, his playmaking and his shot are all something that we needed, and I think he brings that to the game every night,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “When he’s on the ice, there’s a big threat.”

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Fiala was the only King selected to participate in the 2023 all-star weekend, which includes a skills competition and a three-on-three tournament between honorees from each of the four divisions. Each franchise is represented by at least one player. This is the Kings’ fourth straight event with a lone representative, following a string of four seasons with two or more between 2015 and 2018.

After long coveting players entering their prime who checked off all the boxes for a trade target, General Manager Rob Blake made a move for Fiala in June. He traded prospect defenseman Brock Faber, who has 15 points in 20 games for the University of Minnesota this season, and a first-round pick in the NHL entry draft, which the Wild used to select Swedish blue-liner Liam Ohgren. The Kings signed Fiala, then a restricted free agent, to a seven-year contract extension upon completing the trade.

Fiala’s selection marks the second straight year that the Kings sent a first-time all star to the event. Last year they were represented by Adrian Kempe, who buried a pass from Fiala Tuesday for the game-winning goal against the Dallas Stars.

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