Now that everyone has probably heard the news about the Minnesota Wild trading Kevin Fiala to the Los Angeles Kings for University of Minnesota defenseman Brock Faber and a 2022 first-round draft pick, it’s time to talk about who will replace the former 33-goal man. There were a lot of mixed reviews on the Wild’s return for Fiala, some loved it, some hated it. However, regardless of feelings towards the trade, neither Faber nor the player they pick in the draft will likely be ready to go straight to the NHL in 2022-23.

It’s already been stated that Faber will be returning to his college team for this season and most draft picks take some time in the minors before they join their respective team in the NHL. So that means the Wild still need to find a replacement for Fiala, but as many want that player to come from free agency, they may have just as good of luck of finding someone from within their own system.

 

Wild’s First Choice: Adam Beckman

The Wild have a lot of talented, young players on their Iowa Wild roster and many fans were able to see them in action during the 2021-22 preseason. One of the players that stood out was Adam Beckman, as he was quick and very assertive for a player who’d yet to play an NHL game. With his performance it appeared he should’ve earned himself a spot in the NHL, however, there were a lot of other players who performed well also.

Beckman didn’t have to wait long to get his chance. Barely two weeks after the season got underway, he was brought up to fill in after the Wild were without several forwards for varying reasons. He played in three games and tallied a single assist for one point and he did so in the Wild’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Why should Beckman get Fiala’s spot in the lineup? It may be difficult to throw him in on the second line, but he’s a speedy player who gives his all every shift and he seems like he’d make a good pairing opposite Matt Boldy if they choose to keep that line intact. The only issue is that they both play the left side, but one could probably take the opposite side and have no issue. While he didn’t have a lot of time to showcase his talent in the NHL, his American Hockey League (AHL) season went pretty well.

Beckman played in 68 games for the Iowa Wild and recorded 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points. He’s also not afraid to take shots, as he had 203 shots on net in those 68 games played which would’ve put him in the top five had he remained in the NHL and tallied those shots. He should definitely be the first choice when it comes to filling Fiala’s empty spot. Of course, he doesn’t have the big numbers yet but once he gets some more games under his belt, he’s proven he has a lot of potential. As an added bonus, he also has two seasons left on his current contract.