This year, as in all drafts, there are some skaters who have taken a huge step forward with their respective clubs. From scoring 48 points in 68 games in his first juniors season, Arthur Kaliyev went on to score 102 points, good for 6th in the OHL, and in fact seven behind current Flyer prospect Morgan Frost. Kaliyev was named to the OHL 2nd all star team, and though he still has more to prove, Kaliyev is looking like a sure fire 1st round prospect.
2019 NHL Draft Profile: Arthur Kaliyev
Left Wing / USA / Hamilton (OHL)
2018-19 Statistics: 51 G, 51 A in 67 GP
Size: 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
No. 7 (North American Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 30 by Future Considerations
No. 23 by ISS Hockey
No. 13 by TSN/Mckenzie
What’s there to like?
Kaliyev is a forward who I’d describe as simply a pure goalscorer. He possesses an excellent wrist shot, and he is effective at getting to the slot for prime scoring chances. Speaking of his shot, he picks corners like he isn’t even trying. This certainly helps when he can read offensive plays as effectively as he does. It’s not luck that he is always finding himself in good scoring positions. It’s very reminiscent of Oskar Lindblom in how effective he is at being in the right place at the right time. His mental processing of the offensive side of the game, along with the goal scoring abilities of a pure sniper, make him an incredibly dangerous weapon when crossing the opposing blue line.
He’s also improved his playmaking. Kaliyev has become far more patient with the puck, and is good at keeping the puck moving in the offensive zone. He now runs the Hamilton power play, being set up along the half-boards. Even if he is projected as a sniper, his overall offensive game is very good. There isn’t one aspect of his offensive game that I could find fault with.
What’s not to like?
He is a player that is willing to take a risk to extend a play, which is a double edged sword. When the risk doesn’t pay off, Kaliyev can get caught out of the play or give away the puck. This is more evident as well because he does not have any particularly defensively oriented instincts. While some may argue that he is there to score, not back check, Kaliyev can sometimes get into habits reminiscent of Jake Voracek on defense, which can be frustrating.
He’s probably not going to be a guy that carries a line, and will require a playmaking center to feed him the puck. In fairness, this can be said about a lot of wingers. He’s good at taking on defenders one on one, but this isn’t always a reliable skill in the more bruising NHL.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
There’s one type of player the Flyers lack: a true sniper. Kaliyev would fulfill this role, and would look to project into a very good first line scorer. Imagining Giroux regresses, the first line could be Kaliyev-Couturier-Konecny. The thought of that delights me. Heck, eventually, it could even be Kaliyev-Frost-Konecny. I would like one order of that, please.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
If they don’t trade the pick, they absolutely could. It would be a surprising pick, given Kaliyev’s ranking, but it’s 100% possible. Teams like to draft more important positions like center and defense high in the first round, rather than scoring wingers. But, given the Flyers’ organizational needs, I wouldn’t object to the Flyers shocking everybody and taking Kaliyev early. It won’t happen, but hey I can dream.