It’s no surprise that Arthur Kaliyev can score goals. But doing so in a best-on-best format is what truly makes him a special player.
For Kaliyev, that came at the 2019 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game when he finished with three points counting a pair of tallies in the 5-4 final. In all, it marked a continuation of his draft year performance with the Hamilton Bulldogs in which he amassed 51 goals across 67 appearances to finish with the fourth-most tallies in the Ontario Hockey League.
In starring before onlooking talent evaluators at the Top Prospects Game, Kaliyev undoubtedly helped his cause as he was ultimately selected in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. This fall, Kaliyev continued to turn heads at Kings’ training camp before being returned to the Bulldogs for further seasoning and with the plan to round out his game with a focus on bettering his defensive play as well as his overall compete level.
“You work your whole life for that moment so it was a great feeling,” said Kaliyev in recalling his name being announced at the 2019 NHL Draft. “I used to watch (the Kings) on TV when I was a little kid, so meeting them in real life is really special. When I got to practice and play with them, it was the coolest moment ever.
“Now the work gets started in trying to play my best to make the team. My goal is to play great all around, win battles, play great defensively, and show the Kings I can play everywhere and not just score goals. I am trying to do my best every game.”
While Kaliyev received instruction on how to round out his game this season, he is also not shy in offering up advice of his own, particularly for the coming 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and what the top talents can expect in the big stage showcase.
“Try your best, don’t be nervous, and play like you always do with your team. It is a chance to show off your game to all of the scouts. Everyone is trying to play their best game, so you have to show what you have,” Kaliyev said. “It is a great experience. It is great meeting all the guys, all the best guys from around the country.”
Kaliyev also shared a word with the fans in Hamilton who will host the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and can expect a fast, competitive, and highly-skilled contest.
“There are a lot of great players so it is pretty exciting to watch,” offered Kaliyev, who has continued to put on a show in Hamilton this season as the third-year forward has impressed with a league-leading 62 points counting 31 goals and 31 assists through 33 games.
Given such a performance, it is clear Kaliyev has taken the message from Kings’ training camp in stride.
“I want to play the same way as I always do but keep getting stronger and faster, and to play great defensively, not only offensively,” Kaliyev concluded. “I think I have been doing pretty good. I am trying to keep it up and play a great all-around game.”