After a draft that saw Hamilton Bulldogs forward Arthur Kaliyev slip out of the first round — despite scoring 51 goals in 67 games — to be selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the second, you’d think he’s exactly the kind of player who’s going to go about his business with a little something to prove.
In game action on Wednesday at the World Junior Summer Showcase, Kaliyev did just that, scoring two goals and an assist in Team USA’s 6-0 rout of Team Sweden.
Kaliyev earned a primary assist on Team USA’s first tally of the day, making a perfect pass to teammate John Beecher as they both headed to the net.
Team USA jumps out to an early lead on a goal from John Beecher. Nice transition and a pretty feed from Arthur Kaliyev to Beecher for the finish. #WJSS #NHLBruins #LAKings #NTDP pic.twitter.com/iMFjQg9I5f— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) July 31, 2019
Team USA scored twice in the second period, and both goals belonged to Kaliyev. One minute into the period, Kaliyev made a mid-air swipe at a puck after Swedish goalie Olof Lindbom made the initial stop and successfully batted it into the net.
Kaliyev made it 3-0 for Team USA with 14 seconds left in the second period. As Team USA controlled the puck, with each player getting involved in the play. Kaliyev placed himself perfectly in front of the goalie to shovel in a rebound.
After the game, Kaliyev agreed that a game like this helps him show his skill and prove doubters wrong. “I’ve been trying to improve myself and try to show my best like I did tonight, be consistent on every game,” he said.
While Kaliyev is almost certainly heading back to the OHL this season, he will be an interesting figure to watch, both in the upcoming prospect games and in camp for the Kings. Kaliyev, who spent some time with the Kings at development camp after the draft, is looking forward to the full camp later in the fall, saying: “I’m trying to just try to get stronger everywhere around, show I have a great camp at the Kings’ camp and see how it goes from there.”
And while he’s a player certainly known for his goal scoring, Kaliyev also showed that he’s a good playmaker, too. “I think I’m a pretty good passer, playmaker, also can be skilled and make plays,” he said before also citing his skating as part of his game that people may not be as aware of.
More notes from Michigan...
- Arthur Kaliyev led all skaters with 7 shots on goal. He finished the game with two goals, one assist, and was a +3.
- While one summer exhibition game is too early to make any real judgments, Alex Turcotte played a tenacious game, although it didn’t show up on the scoresheet. He was defensively responsible, going into the corners and behind the net to win board battles. When he didn’t come up with the puck, he was strong in his pursuit of it. He finished with two shots on goal.
- For team Sweden, Samuel Fagemo left the ice in the first period in pain after blocking a shot, but came back out for the second and played the remainder of the game. He had two shots on goal and was more noticeable as the game went on.
- Tobias Bjornfot plays the kind of steady defensive game that Kings fans expect from their defenders. He doesn’t play a flashy game and isn’t afraid to get physical. Bjornfot does a good job here taking away a good shooting chance from none other than Alex Turcotte:
- In the early game, a disorganized Team Canada lost 8-3 to Finland. Forward Akil Thomas earned one point, a secondary assist, and had two shots on goal. He had a few good zone entries where he was able to carry the puck in before passing to a teammate. Thomas saw a lot of time on the penalty kill and took many of Canada’s defensive draws.
- Kings prospect Aidan Dudas did not play today for Canada.
- Finnish defenseman prospect Kim Nousiainen took on first pairing duties today and played a solid game. Like Bjornfot, he’s not flashy and he tends to hang back from the play, though whether that’s his natural inclination or just his assignment for Team Finland remains to be seen. On the power play, Nousiainen largely patrolled the blue line, jumping up to corral pucks to maintain possession for the Finns. He finished the game with two shots on goal.
There are no games tomorrow, and Team USA has the day off from practice. Games resume on Friday, with Canada facing off against Sweden at 10:00 a.m. Pacific and the US taking on Finland at 1:00 p.m. Pacific. Games will air on the NHL Network in the US and TSN in Canada.
All photos in galleries by Sarah Avampato for SBNation/Jewels from the Crown.