Edina(MN) High School
2013-2014 stats: 25 games 16 goals 25 assists 41 points 24 PIMs
Height: 5'11.5" Weight: 186 lbs.
Final NHL Central Scouting Ranking: 133rd among NA skaters
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
Fidler is a scrappy player that mixes good skating and skill with an aggressive, physical style of play. He's very strong on his edges and has a quick first-step acceleration. He shows a willingness to go into the corner and fight for pucks.
On the downside, Fidler doesn't always play with the same effort away from the puck and on the defensive side of the ice as he does when he is pursuing the puck in the offensive end. He was an effective scorer at the high school level, but those offensive skills might not translate to a higher level of competition.
How was his draft year? Trending up or down?
Prior to this year, Fidler was regarded as a talented player, but had mostly played a supporting role on a very deep Edina squad, overshadowed by the likes of Buffalo Sabres' second round draft pick Connor Hurley. But as a senior this season, Fidler stepped up as one of the leaders of Edina's team and helped lead them to a second consecutive state high school championship. He was able to showcase his abilities as one of the top remaining players in an otherwise depleted pool of talent in Minnesota high school hockey this year.
Fidler is a most likely on the borderline between a late round pick and going undrafted. While he may not have the upside of some other prospects in the draft, Fidler does provide some unique skills that could make him intriguing enough for an NHL team to pull the trigger on drafting him in the late rounds and hoping he pans out.
Fidler's upside is relatively limited as a scorer, but he could be a valuable supporting cast member in the right situation. It's hard to find guys that that play with his nastiness that are still NHL-caliber skaters. He'll need to develop more of a defensive game, because he likely won't be a big enough scorer to justify his presence that way. He could potentially make an excellent grinding third line forward though.
Where will he go next?
Fidler will play in the USHL next season, where the Lincoln Stars hold his rights. His strong senior season of high school earned him a scholarship to Ohio State, where he will play his NCAA hockey after his USHL career finishes. Fidler is a long-term project that will have four or five seasons to develop before a team needs to make a decision on signing him.