Prospect Update: Giovanni Fiore

Photo: San Diego Gulls

By Thomas Harrington

An undrafted free agent, the Ducks signed forward Giovanni Fiore to a three-year entry level deal last April. In what was easily San Diego’s weakest rookie class in the three years since it became Anaheim’s affiliate, Fiore was far and away San Diego’s best rookie forward.

Last summer, Fiore was an unknown quantity, having finished his junior career with 52 goals and 90 points in 61 games. Those are great numbers, but he was an overage player in his final year of juniors, and it’s not uncommon for overage players to dominate in their final year of juniors. So with some question marks, he entered Anaheim’s training camp last fall and was absolutely stellar. He beat out virtually every other Anaheim prospect and was among the final roster cuts just before the season started. However, he was recalled shortly after that and made his NHL debut in Anaheim’s second game of the season. He only played about eight minutes, but it was a testament to his great training camp and preseason that he got to play in the NHL so early in the season.

Ducks Game Tickets Giveaway!

After Fiore’s one-game NHL stint, he was returned to San Diego, where he spent the rest of the season. With the Gulls, Fiore scored 18 goals and 30 points in 65 games, leading all San Diego rookies in goals and points. Overall, his 18 goals were second only to Kalle Kossila on the team, while his 30 points were seventh. Fiore’s 18 goals were also a new rookie record for San Diego, beating the mark of 16 set by both Nick Ritchie and Kevin Roy. Fiore had a great start to the season, scoring 12 points in the first two months of the season. He cooled off after that, and like most of the team, went through an extended cold streak to end the season. However, he did record a hat trick in January, in a great come from behind victory that he led.

Last summer, I said that I wanted Fiore to get better as the season went on. Unfortunately, as was the case with most of San Diego’s rookie forwards (and their forwards in general), Fiore had a great first half of the season but his play hit a wall in the second half. That being said, he was one of San Diego’s most dependable goal scorers, which was another hope that I had for him. So Fiore wasn’t able to meet all of my expectations from last summer, but he did meet some of them.

The Return of Ryan Kesler?

This coming season, assuming he spends most of it in the AHL, I’d like to see Fiore crack the 20 goal mark. He’s not the most well-rounded of players, but he’s a very good goal scorer. If he plays another 60+ games with San Diego, he should crack that 20 goal mark, and likely more. I’d also like to see his assist totals increase as well, and score somewhere between 40 and 50 points. That’s assuming he’s in the AHL for most of the season. Fiore is a versatile forward who primarily plays left wing, but has some experience in all three forward positions. That kind of versatility could serve him well if he gets more time in the NHL this season. If Fiore does get more time with the Ducks, I’d like to see him score his first goal or two.

In terms of his NHL future, Fiore is a bit of a hard prospect to pin down. He’s a good but not great goal scorer and is quite good on the powerplay. He’s already made his NHL debut but never got another chance after that. Personally, I do think that we’ll see him with the Ducks again this season, but not for most of the season. Anaheim has a number of other forward prospects who are likely to be with the team, like Sam Steel, Max Jones, Troy Terry, or Roy. However, if he can have another solid season with the Gulls and really impress with any NHL time he gets this season, he could get significant NHL time next season.

Fiore will be in the second of his three-year entry-level deal, which he’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of. Fiore was a free agent and chose to come to the Ducks, so it shows that he wants to be here. Assuming his scoring touch stays with him, Anaheim will almost certainly re-sign him in two years’ time. His play over the next two years will determine whether or not he gets a one-way or a two-way deal.

The next prospect update will be on Jaycob Megna.

Related Articles:

Prospect Profile: Kiefer Sherwood

Prospect Profile: Chase De Leo

Prospect Update: Josh Mahura

Prospect Update: Brent Gates, Jr.

Prospect Update: Alex Dostie

Prospect Update: Olle Eriksson Ek

Prospect Update: Julius Nattinen

Prospect Update: Angus Redmond

Prospect Update: Deven Sideroff

Prospect Update: Andy Welinski

Prospect Update: Jack Kopacka

Prospect Update: Milt Hults

Prospect Profile: Keaton Thompson

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August 13th, 2018


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