ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22. Forward Arthur Kaliyev is the No. 7-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the fourth and 16th overall selections in the first round of the draft.
Arthur Kaliyev has proven himself to be one of the top goal-scorers eligible to be selected in the 2019 NHL Draft.
After scoring 31 times in the 2017-18 season, Kaliyev put home 51 pucks this past year for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Ontario Hockey League and became the first player in franchise history to hit the 50-goal mark. He is also now the 13th player in OHL history to score at least 50 times in a season as a 17-year-old, joining players such as Eric Lindros (71) and Steven Stamkos (58).
The winger finished his sophomore campaign with 102 points (51 goals, 51 assists) in 67 games. His 102 points are the most among draft-eligible players in the OHL and made him the first player in Hamilton franchise history to score over 100 points in a single season.
Kaliyev's rookie season in 2017-18 ended with an OHL Championship with the Bulldogs. He chalked up 48 points (31 goals, 17 assists) in 68 games and 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 21 playoff contests for Hamilton.
In the 2018-19 OHL Coaches Polls, Kaliyev was recognized as the top player in both the best shot and hardest shot categories in his conference, and the coaches voted him as the second-most dangerous skater around the goal area.
"He's got an NHL-caliber shot right now. He can score from anywhere," says Karl Stewart of NHL Central Scouting. "His game is below the dots and in the offensive zone and he plays in all three zones very well."
The OHL Second Team All-Star was a finalist for the Sherwin Williams Top Prospect Award at the end of the 2018-19 season, along with defenseman Bowen Byram and forward Raphael Lavoie.
"His shot and hockey IQ will get him to the next level," Stewart said. "He never really holds onto the puck for very long and knows what he's going to do with it before he even gets it on his stick."
When NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward was the top-ranked player from OHL coming it as the seventh North American skater, jumping four spots from the midterm rankings.
Although he was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Kaliyev moved to New York when he was 2 years old. He grew up there until he went to Michigan to develop further as a hockey player at 14 years old. From there, he was taken 26th overall by the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL Draft.
"Playing in Michigan prepared me for the OHL because it was more physical and a lot faster," Kaliyev told NHL.com. "I wanted to play against better competition and the best players so that's why I came to the Ontario Hockey League."
The 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver will determine where hockey will take him next.