Awards Season – Kevin Fiala nominated for King Clancy + Brandt Clarke named to AHL All-Rookie Team

Congratulations are in order for forward Kevin Fiala, who was selected as the Kings nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.”

Similar to the Masterton Trophy, for which Viktor Arvidsson was nominated, each of the 32 teams across the league has one player nominated for the leaguewide award. Talked with Kevin about his “Fiala’s Friends” program earlier this season, which has taken on a life of its own as it’s grown. Something Kevin himself has shown a passion for, regularly giving up his own time to be on the ice with youth-hockey players or visit patients at CHLA. Really well deserved.

“It means a lot to be honored and for me, it’s important to do,” Fiala said this morning. “I started it a few years ago and continued to do so. It’s just nice to give something back to the community and it’s been fun. I’m thankful to the Kings for helping me out, it makes it very easy.”

For Fiala, it does bring a bit of joy to himself, but it’s about the joy he feels he can bring for kids in less fortunate positions that drives him to do it.

“Just to give them [a chance] to forget about it a little bit, what they have, and just give them joy for a day,” he said. “All of the families have been very grateful, they love it, and I’m going to continue to do it.”

Jim Hiller was proud of Fiala for what he’s given back to the community.

The Kings have had several individuals step up this season in giving back with Fiala leading the charge. A well-deserved recognition from a player who gets it, and has given back what he’s gotten.

“It’s awesome, it’s a great honor to be nominated,” Hiller said. “So many of our players that do so much and we’re fortunate, all of us who are part of the team, and we get these opportunities. I think to give back probably feels pretty good, because I don’t think people take for granted the fortunate place that they’ve been in. They’ve worked hard to get where they are, but they’re also paid well, they have a lot of respect in the community and to be able to give back, I think it’s probably a pretty good feeling.”

From the team’s official release –

The St. Gallen, Switzerland native has been a dedicated philanthropist throughout his career. Through his “Fiala’s Friends,” organization Fiala hosts patients from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) at Kings home games, makes multiple hospital visits throughout the year, and organizes youth hockey camps that raise money for the Kings Care Foundation and CHLA. In addition to his work with CHLA, Fiala also supports other worthy causes, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Adopt-A-Family, among other team-related initiatives.

Fiala’s nomination for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy reflects his unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Each of the League’s 32 member clubs will have one player nominated, with the winner being announced at the NHL Awards ceremony in June 2024.

About the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community. The award is named after King Clancy, a former NHL player and executive who was known for his dedication to charitable work. The award was first given in 1988.

In 1991, Dave Taylor became the first member of the LA Kings to be honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Taylor was recognized for his efforts in developing the team’s “Tip a King” event to fundraise for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and for his devotion to helping individuals with speech difficulties after overcoming his own speech impediment.

All Clarkie Team
Congratulations should also be directed towards Ontario Reign defenseman and Kings prospect Brandt Clarke, who was named today as a member of the AHL’s All-Rookie Team earlier this afternoon.

Clarke has had a pretty dynamic first season as a professional. He was selected to the AHL All-Star Classic to represent the Reign, he contributed with the NHL club and he scored his first career NHL goal in thrilling fashion, with the overtime, game-winning goal in a comeback win over Boston on the road.

At the AHL level, he was one of the league’s most productive defensemen. He regularly logged top-pairing minutes and learned to defend at the professional level, as he navigated his first full professional season. In the NHL, he showed flashes of his skillset and ability, while carving out a role for himself while he was up, as a part of a seven-defensemen alignment.

A strong debut season and a nice honor here today.

From the Reign official release –

Ontario Reign defenseman Brandt Clarke was named to the American Hockey League’s 2023-24 All-Rookie Team Wednesday.

Clarke, a first-round selection by the LA Kings in the 2021 NHL Draft, ranks second among all AHL rookie defenders in scoring with 42 points in 47 contests with Ontario this season. His nine goals and 33 assists give him the highest points per game average (0.89) among first year blueliners.

Clarke’s assist total is currently tied for the most among rookies, while his 134 total shots on goal are second-best and his scoring total of 42 points ranks eighth among league defensemen. 14 of Clarke’s points came via the power play, including two goals and 12 assists.

Clarke, 21, made his NHL debut with the Kings last season on Nov. 1, 2022 and scored his first NHL goal this year on Feb. 17 in overtime to defeat the Boston Bruins. He has suited up for 25 NHL games with LA over the past two seasons, totaling eight pints on two goals and six assists.

The Ottawa, Ont. native becomes the second Reign defender in the last three seasons to be included on the league’s All-Rookie Team, joining Jordan Spence, who was honored for his performance during the 2021-22 season.

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