The 2019 NHL draft class is marked with exceptional talent but not a lot of consensus on the board beyond Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. There are a handful of polarizing prospects who appear all over team, scout and analyst rankings heading into the June 21 draft.
We picked five especially interesting draft-eligible players -- Arthur Kaliyev, Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens, Nicholas Robertson and Ryan Suzuki -- and asked an anonymous NHL scout for an Eastern Conference team for an honest assessment of their games. Then we gave the players a chance to critique the critiques, and I provided my own analysis to round it out.
Note: Ages are as of the June 21 draft date.
Arthur Kaliyev, RW, Hamilton (OHL)
Age: 17 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 190 | Shot: L
Player profile: A projected first-rounder, Kaliyev led the OHL with 51 goals this season and had 102 points, which was good for sixth in the league and most among draft-eligible players in major junior. He is one of the draft's most polarizing prospects, and he ranked No. 12 on my early May board.
What a scout said: "He's an elite goal scorer with size and doesn't need a lot of space to score. He can score from bad angles and doesn't need a perfect pass -- he can shoot from anywhere."
Kaliyev: "I've been working on my shot since I started playing hockey, every day. Before practice, after practice, I practice getting passes. I work on one-timers every time."
Peters: "Kaliyev has the best one-timer in the draft, as far as I'm concerned. He also has incredible net sense, showing he can score from anywhere. He has a shooter's mentality."
Scout: "Skating for him, can he play a high-tempo game? His quickness and his pace need to show up. For a big guy like that, you probably wish he was a little more involved physically and a little grittier. For him, maybe he's looking at us saying I'm not playing a gritty game, and I'm still scoring 50 goals, and I'm big."