It’s the news many were expecting this morning on Kevin Fiala, as the young Predators forward has suffered a broken left femur and will be out for the rest of the playoffs. Fiala crashed hard into the boards while racing with Robert Bortuzzo last night, and had to be stretchered off the ice. During the game, the update was given that he was in “stable” condition, obviously indicating a very serious injury. The femur is an extremely difficult bone to break, and he underwent immediate surgery to repair it last night.
Fiala became a regular for the Predators this season, skating in 54 games and registering 16 points. The former first-round pick has a long way to go to catch up with some of his draft contemporaries—William Nylander (8th), Nikolaj Ehlers (9th) and Dylan Larkin (15th) were all selected in the same range as him (11th) in 2014—and this injury will push that development back even further. Femur injuries have a long road to getting the strength and maneuverability back that came before it, but a 20-year old athlete is a prime candidate for a quick return.
The Predators will likely move Colin Wilson up into Fiala’s spot on the second line as they did last night, but it will be interesting to see if his absence gives them trouble creating offense. The young winger had scored two goals already in the playoffs, including the game three overtime winner against the Chicago Blackhawks in round 1.