2005-06: Acquired by the ‘Tips in the first round of the 2005 CHL import draft, Ondrej Fiala overcame an early season knee injury to establish himself as a team leader in Everett. Born in Stenberk, Czech Republic, the 6’2, 190-pounder added offensive depth to a team focused playing sound defensive hockey. “He might have been our top player this season behind Mueller,” team play-by-play commentator Keith Gerhart said. “Just a great skater and real good hands.”
In 51 games, Fiala scored 21 goals and added 14 assists. He also played in the 2006 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game for Team Orr.
A major challenge on the ice for many import players in the WHL is the adjustment to the physical toll of the lengthy 72-game schedule. By all accounts, Fiala was up to the test.
“Some guys get knocked around here when they arrive,” Gerhart said. “But Ondrej responded well to the physical play. He became a real good puck handler over the course of the season here. He has made the adjustment to the WHL and I think he will be a real pleasant surprise for the NHL team that chooses him.”