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NHL Draft 2019: Los Angeles Kings Select RW Arthur Kaliyev with 33rd Overall Pick

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Much like his scoring, this kid is going coast-to-coast

2019 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Arthur Kaliyev joins the ranks of other impressive players to score 50+ goals in the OHL before he turns 18 years old. His scoring abilities should help bridge that gap in Los Angeles.

The Basics

Born: June 26, 2001 (Age 17)
Place of Birth: Tashkent, UZB
Position: RW
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Shoots: Left
2019-20 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs / OHL - 18/19

Rankings

Ranked #13 by THE ATHLETIC
Ranked #34 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #30 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #23 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #21 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #7 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #13 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #21 by TSN/McKenzie

Stats

What’s the deal?

“What’s the deal? Why did he fall so far if he was ranked so highly?” Good questions, indeed! Rumor has it that Kaliyev was actually born two years earlier in 1999 instead of 2001 and is actually almost 20 years old. It’s a stupid, unsubstantiated rumor, but “Russian fears” still persist (yes, I know he was born in Uzbekistan, but still). But, more likely, he’s got an air of mystery around him that a lot of teams are concerned about and would rather go for the safer option, if you will.

David St-Louis penned an article for sister blog Habs Eyes on the Prize saying that Kaliyev is a rather polarizing player.

Depending on the method used to evaluate him — a more analytics-intensive approach or scouting for tools, game sense, and projectability — Kaliyev can either come out as one of the better potential picks in the draft or one with a lot of question marks, some would say even red flags. [...]

He is quite unique. It’s hard to reconcile 51 goals — an incredible feat for a draft-eligible player, one that hasn’t been matched by many over the years and puts him in company of players like Alex DeBrincat and Jeff Skinner — to what appears to be a detached playstyle.

It’s interesting, then, that a team like the Los Angeles Kings, who drafted Tobias Bjornfot at 22nd overall nearly based on his character alone, would take a flyer on a kid like Kaliyev. But, a wicked wrist shot and a nose for the net is hard to find. You can teach someone how to be a good professional athlete. You can probably deal with any “personality” issues that may crop up. But a natural goal scoring instinct is hard to come by. The Kings were 30th in the league in goals-for (rises to 26th at 5v5, how exciting!), so getting all the offense they can is a big Must on Rob Blake’s to-do list.

Outside of the likes of Anze Kopitar, who is scoring goals for this team? Jeff Carter appears to finally have hit the 30+ aging curve, Tyler Toffoli, well who knows what’s going on there, and everyone else is just a mess. If the Kings can figure out how to live with Kaliyev’s “quiet” playing style, he could certainly be a big asset to this goal-starved team.

Highlights & Notes