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LA Kings sign 2019 draft picks Kaliyev and Spence to entry-level deals

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The youngsters are expected to be back with their junior teams next season.

Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

The L.A. Kings inked a pair of 2019 draft picks to entry-level contracts.

Forward Arthur Kaliyev and defenseman Jordan Spence signed three-year deals with the team.

Kaliyev had 44 goals and 54 assists for 98 points in 58 games with the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. The 18-year-old won the Jim Mahon Trophy, which is awarded to the best right winger in the OHL, and was also a finalist for the Most Outstanding Player award.

A second-round pick in last year’s draft, Kaliyev is a true sniper, scoring 126 goals in 192 games with the Bulldogs.

Spence was picked 95th overall, and is quickly making a name for himself as one of the Kings’ best prospects. The 19-year-old scored 52 points in 60 games with the Moncton Wildcats, and won the QMJHL’s Defenseman of the Year.

General manager Rob Blake is hoping both will develop into full-time NHL players sooner than later. If Kaliyev and Spence don’t make the Kings next year, they will not be eligible to play in the AHL, so they will most likely be back with their junior teams for the 2020-21 season.

The Kings have built a good prospect pipeline, with Kaliyev, Spence, Gabe Vilardi, Samuel Fagemo, Mike Anderson and Tyler Madden.

When do you think Kaliyev and Spence will be in the NHL?