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Prospect Need to Know: Kaliyev shooting the lights out

The Hamilton Bulldogs winger and 2019 draft hopeful is one of a number of players killing it early. Find out who else is hot in the prospect world in our weekly round-up

With NHL opening rosters getting set, we’re already seeing some interesting surprises. Florida sent Henrik Borgstrom to the minors, as did the Rangers with Lias Andersson. That meant that Brett Howden stayed up with New York, while injuries opened the door for Barrett Hayton in Arizona. No doubt some of these roster moves will change once the real games get going, but it just goes to prove that even high-end prospects have to grind for an NHL spot. In the meantime, we’ve got some big performances flooding in this year in the junior ranks. Let’s take a whirl around the prospect globe and see who’s on fire.

Arthur Kaliyev, RW, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL): There’s no questioning where Kaliyev’s upside lies: he’s a goal-scorer, full stop. Not only does the 2019 draft prospect have a great release on his wrister, but he can pound the slapshot as well. Kaliyevis tied for the OHL lead in goals with six and second in points with 10 through four games. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Yegor Spiridonov, LW, Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (Rus.): Sweet lord, this kid is tenacious on the penalty-kill. Not only does Spiridonov pressure like a demon, but he’s got two shorthanded goals in his first 12 games. The 2019 draft prospect already has 10 points, putting him halfway to last year’s totals in less than one-third of the games. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL): You can’t ask for much more than what Cozens has given in the early days of the season. The 2019 draft prospect is tied for first in WHL scoring with 10 points in four games, using his size, hands and puck protection skills to cause havoc. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Samuel Poulin, LW, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL): What I really like about Poulin is how deadly he is around the net. Whether he’s finding pucks in front or making moves around the cage, the 2019 draft prospect has a knack for creation. So far, Poulin has four goals and six points in four games to lead Sherbrooke in scoring. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Ian Scott, G, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL): The frame and the potential were always there with Scott, but now he’s putting up the numbers. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect is hot in the WHL, posting a 1.75 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in four games – all wins. The 6-foot-3 goalkeeper was named WHL goalie of the week, too. NHL arrival: 2022-23

Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie Colts (OHL): Quick, smart and talented, Suzuki is a 2019 draft standout in an OHL field that, early on, isn’t as strong as in typical years. With 11 points through four games, Suzuki leads the league in scoring and given how potent the Colts’ offense has been so far, that could last for awhile.NHL arrival: 2020-21

Cam York, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL): Smart and mobile, York will likely be one of the first defensemen taken in the 2019 draft if he plays up to standard. With six points in his first four games, York sits tied for second in NTDP scoring, just one point behind magnificent center Jack Hughes. York recently opened up his college commitment (it was Boston College), so recruiters will be in hot pursuit. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Samuel Ersson, G, Vasteras (Swe.): A cool customer in net who uses a solid butterfly technique, Ersson is off to a great start in the Allsvenskan, rocking a .941 save percentage in two games against men. The Philadelphia Flyers pick is part of a great netminding pipeline being put together by the organization and Ersson has the requisite size at 6-foot-2. NHL arrival: 2022-23

Martin Pospisil, RW, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL): In his first season with Sioux City, Pospisil usually got on the scoresheet via PIMs, but this year he’s kicked things off with a lot of offense. The Calgary Flames pick has five points in his first two games, tying him for second in the league. He’s still got the power forward potential, of course. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Ivan Chekhovich, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL): The top scorer in the ‘Q’ right now with 11 points in five games, Chekhovich is a smart player who is rounding out his game. The San Jose Sharks prospect doesn’t have a ton of size, but Chekhovich uses a strong stick to battle and create turnovers. NHL arrival: 2020-21

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