LA Kings: Mid-season organization’s prospect rankings, the top five

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Arthur Kaliyev
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Arthur Kaliyev – 19 y/o – LW – 2019 Round 2 #33 overall

AHL – Ontario Reign – 19 GP-7G-7A-14P

I’m not sure the Los Angeles Kings have ever had a player like Arthur Kaliyev in their system. He is a prototypical NHL goal scorer with a shot that could rival Auston Matthews or Patrick Laine right now. If he gets the puck anywhere in the offensive zone and has enough time to lean on his stick and produce the amount of velocity he can produce, goals happen. What put’s him in the top two in the stacked Kings’ prospect pool, however, is his underrated playmaking ability.

Watching Kaliyev play, it’s pretty wild to think he went in the second round of the 2019 draft. Just seeing highlights of some of his goals makes you wonder why he wasn’t top ten, but many scouts questioned his defensive ability.  Sure, a sniper, much like Kaliyev, will relax a bit in the defensive zone, but you take that trade with the number of goals he can produce. Player Comparison

Hockey Prospecting Dashboard (2)
Hockey Prospecting Dashboard (2) /

Tony Ferrari Scouting Report

"“You know what you’re getting from Kaliyev and that’s goals. His shot is unreal and can beat just any goalie on a given night. He isn’t going to provide much in the way of a 200-foot game but that’s not why he’s in your top-six. He might end up being a powerplay monster at the end of the day but there is no reason he can’t be among the best at it. “"

Kaliyev is also clutch. During the 2021 WJC, the semi-final matchup between Kaliyev’s Team USA and Team Finland, which also turned into an LA Kings fan’s dream to watch, Arthur came up huge for the US. The Americans carried a two-goal lead into the third period over Finland but saw that lead evaporate as the Finns put on an offensive surge and tied the game with only 3:43 left in the third period.

Coach Nate Leaman, knowing he needed to stop the hemorrhaging and hope to retake the lead before regulation expired, turned to his top line full of SoCal’s upcoming stars, Kaliyev-Turcotte-Zegras, and they delivered.

The line was able to establish a solid forecheck, and Alex Turcotte carried the puck along the half-boards, fed the upright Kaliyev in the slot, and Arthur did what he does best, shoot the puck.

His professional career for the Ontario Reign got off to a rough start, but the Kings saw enough to give him a call up to the big club for one game against the Anaheim Ducks. Following fellow teammates Anze Kopitar and Gabe Vilardi, Arthur Kaliyev scored in his first NHL game with a drive to the net, keeping his stick on the ice long enough to direct the puck in the net off a rebound from John Gibson.

Kaliyev returned to Ontario after his one-game stint with the Kings, and over the last few games, it seems he has turned a corner. In the last six-games for Arthur, he has six goals and eight total points. The decision to move Turcotte on the wing with the fast skating Kupari down the middle has helped Kaliyev get more opportunities to utilize that excellent shot.

It’ll be interesting to see Kaliyev’s timeline toward becoming a full-time impact NHL player, and with the OHL season up in the air, who knows what his near future holds. My colleague Scott Kinville did an excellent job describing the upcoming decision teams will have with their OHL prospects if that league gets going. I agree with Scott, in that the Kings should keep Arthur around the club for the rest of the year but not burn a year off his ELC.

Although Kings’ fans need to be patient with a player like Kaliyev, he’ll need a little bit more time to adjust to the pace of the NHL, but once he does, we’re looking at a possible consistent 40 goal scorer in the NHL.