Bull­dogs sign sniper Kaliyev

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - TERI PECOSKIE

Ar­tie is on board with the Hamil­ton Bull­dogs.

The team an­nounced Mon­day that it has signed sec­ond-rounder Arthur Kaliyev to a stan­dard player agree­ment.

The six-foot-one, 171-pound left winger re­cently turned heads at ori­en­ta­tion camp, where he topped all play­ers — in­clud­ing a cou­ple of vet­er­ans — in scor­ing.

Bull­dogs pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager Steve Staios called Kaliyev a dy­namic player.

Staios says Kaliyev has great vi­sion with the puck and an elite abil­ity to score goals.

He also said he makes ev­ery­one around him bet­ter.

“We are very pleased to add Ar­tie to our team,” he added.

Kaliyev, 15, is a sig­nif­i­cant sign­ing for the Bull­dogs. Rus­sian-born and Amer­i­can-raised, he was also be­ing courted by the U.S. Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Team Pro­gram in the lead-up to last month’s OHL draft. At the time, how­ever, Staios was con­fi­dent his 26th over­all pick would choose Hamil­ton.

“We did our home­work,” he said. “We know there’s a com­mit­ment to com­ing to the league.”

Ac­cord­ing to OHL Cen­tral Scout­ing, Kaliyev is a big, skilled power for­ward who isn’t afraid to get in­volved phys­i­cally. They com­pared him to St. Louis Blues winger Nail Yakupov, call­ing him “a pow­er­ful player,” with a good stride and de­cep­tive speed.

“He shoots the puck like a ju­nior al­ready, as his shot is very hard and he gets it off ex­tremely quick. Arthur finds open ice very well and has the abil­ity to hit the open holes just as the puck is get­ting there. He has the type of nat­u­ral of­fen­sive in­stincts that are hard to teach.”

Kaliyev played for the Detroit Com­puware un­der-16 team last sea­son, where he scored 13 goals and five as­sists in 19 games. He also helped his team win a cham­pi­onship at USA Hockey Na­tion­als, where he led the tour­na­ment in scor­ing with six goals. NOTES: Two Bull­dogs are bound for the NHL com­bine. For­wards Matt Strome and Macken­zie En­twistle are both ex­pected to take part in the two-day event at The Har­borCen­ter in Buf­falo this week­end. Start­ing Fri­day, the com­bine gives NHL clubs a chance to in­ter­view, test and eval­u­ate top prospects in ad­vance of the NHL draft next month. Strome was rated 33rd among North Amer­i­can skaters in NHL Cen­tral Scout­ing’s pre-draft rank­ings, while his long­time mi­nor hockey team­mate En­twistle was rated 44th.

TROY SHANTZ, OHL IMAGES

Arthur Kaliyev has signed with the Hamil­ton Bull­dogs.

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