Kevin Fiala - Minnesota Wild
I think it's easy to see why the Islanders might want to bring in Kevin Fiala. In 21-22, he's got 85 points in 82 games. That's the exact type of production the Isles need to bring in.
And I don't know about you, but I thought there could be a Kaprizov impact on those numbers. Consider that Fiala added some 20 points to his stats from 20-21. When I say added, I mean added to his pace over the 50 games he played two years ago. Such a big bump can easily be a result of an elite-level linemate.
Sure Kaprizov was there in 20-21, but the Russian forward took a huge step up this year with 108 points in 81 games. So you can see how it's possible that Fiala could have benefited from that. But the two rarely played together at 5on5. In fact, they shared the ice for 40:31. Mathew Barzal and Cal Clutterbuck have more shared ice-time (62:40) than Fiala and Kaprizov.
That changes on the power play where Kaprizov is Fiala's most common linemate at 134:13 of shared ice time. But Fiala's PP production only jumped up by three points from last year and only accounts for 20% of his production this year. So Fiala's jump is very much due to Fiala himself.
Can they make it work?
I don't see why not. The Wild are in a pickle when it comes to the cap and they've even conceded that they might not be able to keep Fiala next season. Meanwhile, the Islanders have an absolute need on the top line for a scoring winger.
The match just works between both teams. The only issue now is can they agree on a price. No team has a real advantage over the other here so I don't think this should be too hard. The Isles certainly have the assets to make it work. Now does Wild GM Bill Guerin agree?