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A second-round pick in the 2017 OHL Draft, Arthur Kaliyev made an immediate impact for the Hamilton Bulldogs and helped the team to the 2018 OHL Championship and an appearance at the Memorial Cup. He put up 31 goals and 48 points in 68 games last season. Kaliyev also had 11 points in 21 playoff games. This season, he has been even better on the rebuilding Bulldogs. Kaliyev scored 51 goals and 51 assists for 102 points in just 67 games. However, he would score just one goal and one assist in four playoff games as the overmatched Bulldogs suffered a first-round sweep at the hands of the Ottawa 67s.
Kaliyev was born in Uzbekistan but grew up in Staten Island. He played for Team USA at the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky cup, putting up three goals and three assists for six points in five tournament games. Kaliyev helped the American squad to a semi-final spot, but losses to Canada and Russia meant that the Americans went home without a medal.
Arthur Kaliyev Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Left
Born June 26th, 2001 — Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Height 6’2″ — Weight 190 lbs [188 cm / 86 kg]
Kaliyev could stand to work on his skating, as he could improve his first few steps. Kaliyev has made some strides since his rookie season though, and his agility and edgework are above average. His top-end speed is good but not great, as Kaliyev is able to keep up with the play. Kaliyev is strong on his skates. He has very good balance and is tough to knock off the puck. He does well in board battle when he gets involved in them, but needs to show that compete level on a more consistent basis.
A pure sniper, Kaliyev has a tremendous wrist shot. He picks corners with ease, and his quick release often fools goaltenders. He also has a very good snapshot and an excellent slap shot. Kaliyev can also score with an effective backhand. He is solid on his skates and not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice. He establishes a position in front of the net and is tough to move out. Once there Kaliyev uses a quick stick and good hand-eye coordination to pounce on rebounds, tip in pucks, or quickly one-time a pass into the back of the net. Without the puck, he has a real knack for finding soft spots in the defence and getting open to receive a pass from a teammate.
Kaliyev is also a skilled stick handler who can beat defenders in one-on-one situations. One area he has improved this season is his playmaking ability. He has shown patience with the puck to make plays and set up teammates. Kaliyev extends plays on the cycle and allows his linemates the time to get open. He also has the vision and passing skill to find an open teammate with a pass through a tight area. Kaliyev is willing to take risks to make a creative play, either to get his own shot off or to set up a teammate. He runs the Hamilton power play off the half boards.
Kaliyev could work on his defensive game. He is often uninvolved in the defensive end and shies away from contact on the backcheck. His positioning is off as well. Kaliyev can get into the habit of puck watching and not moving his feet. These tendencies will need to be ironed out of his game, or they will drive coaches crazy.
Projection and Comparison
Kaliyev has immense skill. His ability to score goals is amongst the best in this class. He also has high-end hockey sense, and his playmaking abilities are starting to rival his goal-scoring skills. However, there are also big questions about his effort level and his defensive game. Kaliyev is the classic boom or bust prospect. He could become an elite-level goal scorer, or he could flame out entirely, or land almost anywhere in between. Development will need to be a priority here. In terms of playing style, he is comparable to Alex Kovalev, however, this is a style comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Arthur Kaliyev that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo: REGINA, SK – MAY 25: Arthur Kaliyev #34 of Hamilton Bulldogs warms up with a shot on net against the Regina Pats at Brandt Centre – Evraz Place on May 25, 2018, in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)