Colorado Avalanche: Arthur Kaliyev Brings a Sniper’s Shot and Mentality

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)
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) /
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With their second pick of the first round, #16, the Colorado Avalanche might choose sniper Arthur Kaliyev. Would he be a good fit?

The Colorado Avalanche have two first round draft picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. For the most part, we’ve already covered who might come at the number-four position, the selection Colorado got from Ottawa in the Matt Duchene trade.

Now we can start looking at who the Avs might select with their own position, #16. My theory is that the Avalanche will select both a defenseman and a forward in the first round. My low-key/medium-key hope is that they choose defenseman Bowen Byram at #4.

So, they might be looking for a forward at #16. Now, a #16 pick is highly unlikely to be NHL-ready right away. He’ll attend the Prospect Development Camp and, possible Rookie Camp (if he’s not college-bound). However, at best he’ll sign and play for the Colorado Eagles.

More likely he’ll continue playing for his major juniors team, or college team if that’s his slant.

So, as we start to look at players the Colorado Avalanche might choose at the midway mark of the NHL Draft, let’s examine what right wing Arthur Kaliyev might bring to the table.

Arthur Kaliyev

2018-19 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Date of Birth: June 26, 2001 (17 years old)
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 190 lbs.
Position: Left wing
Shoots: Left

Ranked #28 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #28 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #19 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #7 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #11 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #13 by TSN/McKenzie

As you can see, Arthur Kaliyev is scouted to go as high as #11 and as low as #28. It’s a pretty good bet he’ll still be available at the #16 position.

Last season Kaliyev — who was born in Uzbekistan but grew up in Staten Island — recorded an impressive 51 goals and 51 assists for 102 points in 67 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs. That is way more than his previous season, 48 points (31 goals, 17 assists). But still, wow, 31 goals.

Something that’s noteworthy that NHL.com points out is that Kaliyev has a unique approach to taping his stick. He puts very little if any on the blade and a whole roll on top.

Anyway, as you can see, Kaliyev is a prolific scorer and playmaker. Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects describes him as a “shoot-first winger who knows how to find the back of the net.” However, he adds the caveat, “Somewhat one-dimensional but that dimension is spectacular.”

According to Robinson, Kaliyev does two things especially well — he chances the release point and angle to score on goalies, and he protects the puck with his decent-sized frame.

Both Hannah Stuart of The Score and Chris Peters of ESPN of the doubt are in awe of his goal scoring — but less so his skating. Stuart remarks:

"“His lack of north-south speed is viewed as a concern, but it’s hard to argue with his special scoring talent.”"

Ben Kerr of Last Word on Hockey certainly concurs with the knock on Kaliyev’s skating. However, he adds that Arthur has “above average” agility and edgework as well as balance that makes him very difficult to knock off the puck.

As with the others, he’s also in great admiration of Kaliyev’s offensive game, calling him “a pure sniper.” Kerr also remarks on what makes him so effective, noting his “quick release,” “excellent slapshot” and “effective snapshot.”

Kerr does point out that Kaliyev’s defensive game needs work because he “shies away from contact on the backcheck” and, to quote Jared Bednar in similar situations, checks with his eyes instead of his body.

Nonetheless, Kerr compares Kaliyev to Alexei Kovalev in style, and that’s a huge compliment. I’ve always dreamed of having a pure Russian sniper like Kovy on our team.

Arthur Kaliyev in action:

Arthur Kaliyev and the Colorado Avalanche

Arthur Kaliyev has some parts of his game that need working on. He’s only 17, though, so the concern doesn’t need to run too deeply.

Like I mentioned above, I’ve always wanted an Alexei Kovalev on the team. But I don’t know that Kaliyev brings enough to the table otherwise to hope his skating and defense improve enough to make him NHL-caliber.

I guess I wouldn’t be too upset if Sakic called his name the second time he stepped onto the podium, but Kayilev probably wouldn’t be my first choice.

Here’s the entire list of the Colorado Avalanche’s picks:

#4 (from Ottawa)
#16
#47
#62 (also from Ottawa)
#78
#140
#171
#202

We’re starting to hear rumors that the Colorado Avalanche might trade to move up. You never know when they might go all 2018 again and trade to move down. If Colorado did so, and acquired, say, a second second-rounder and a lower first-rounder, I’d be ok with Kaliyev later in the first round.

Next. Checking in on Predictions. dark

The 2019 NHL Draft takes place in Vancouver on June 21-22. The time for the first round hasn’t been announced, but I’m expected last year’s start time of 5:30 pm MT.