LA Kings Prospect Profiles: Arthur Kaliyev

LA Kings Prospect Profiles Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Tobias Bjornfot

Arthur Kaliyev

2020-21 Team: Ontario Reign
Date of Birth: June 26, 2001
Place of Birth: Tashkent, UZB
Ht: 6-foot-2
Wt: 190 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: RW
Acquired: 2019 NHL Draft #33 overall

Arthur Kaliyev Bio

Arthur Kaliyev moved from Uzbekistan to the United States to play his youth hockey. He played midget hockey in Michigan with Little Caesars and Compuware. He was then selected 26th overall in the 2017 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection by the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs
Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs. (Photo by Aaron BellOHL Images)

Kaliyev was outstanding offensively throughout his junior career. In his first season with the Bulldogs, he put up 31 goals and 17 assists in 68 games. In the 2018-19 season — the season prior to his NHL draft — he put up an astounding 51 goals and 51 assists in just 67 games.

After a second very impressive OHL season, the Los Angeles Kings were able to pick up Kaliyev at the 2019 NHL Draft. His offensive abilities were ranked in the top-10, but questions about his defensive game allowed the team to select him in the second round of the draft — an absolute steal at 33rd overall.

Arthur Kaliyev Los Angeles Kings Draft
Arthur Kaliyev, Los Angeles Kings, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kaliyev went back to the OHL in the season after his draft, continuing to provide elite offense; he put up 44 goals and 54 assists in 57 games. He also played in the 2020 World Junior Championship (WJC), posting over a point per game — four goals and two assists in five games.

The 2020-21 season marked the start of Kaliyev’s professional hockey career. He played nearly the entire season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL), where he continued to amaze. In his first pro season, he led the team in goals and assists, putting up 14 goals and 17 assists in 40 games. Kaliyev made his NHL debut in February 2021, scoring his first NHL goal in the game. He also made his second WJC appearance, helping power Team USA to gold — he recorded three goals and five assists in seven games.

Scouting Report

Kaliyev has an elite shot and skating ability. These are two skills great NHL players possess, so he is already on the right track. His overall offensive game is excellent; the puck follows him around and he puts up points in abundance. While there have been some questions about his defensive commitment, he has turned around that side of his game this season in Ontario (see Quotables), making him the full package.

NHL Projection

As longs as everything continues to go well for Kaliyev, he should be playing alongside Quinton Byfield on the Kings’ first line. He is LA’s goal scorer of the future, so his success is vital to the organization. The 50 goals he put up in one OHL season puts him in the company of Alex DeBrincat, who Kaliyev has been compared to, and Jeff Skinner.

Alex DeBrincat Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

DeBrincat has just come off a career season, putting up 32 goals and 24 assists in just 52 games, and Skinner is a former 40-goal scorer. Kaliyev certainly has the potential to match the production of these two players, as he has already done so at the OHL level.

Quotables

Does an excellent job of finding soft spots in the offensive zone, getting to them with his stick ready to retrieve a pass and send it home.

EPrinkside.com

Artie’s got a skill that, for me, is as unique as I’ve ever seen… He’s 17 years old… he’s young. He’s got the heart and the approach of a 15-year-old, which is kinda cool. Artie’s ceiling is so high. When this guy matures physically and mentally – the guy just continues to score, that’s what he does.

Dave Matsos, former Hamilton Bulldogs head coach, on Kaliyev.

I wouldn’t be surprised in the goals department, you know my thoughts on Arty… but Arty has bought in completely to the idea of being a 200-foot player, and he is one of our more reliable players in our defensive system… hats off to him for his dedication, and even when pucks weren’t going in for him… he didn’t change his game, he didn’t revert back to junior habits, he kept pushing on his faith in the system, and the faith in the work ethic he has been putting in has been commendable.

John Wroblewski, Ontario Reign head coach, after being asked what he would have thought before the start of the season if he were told Kaliyev would lead the team in goals.

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