After arriving in Los Angeles following a gold medal performance with Team USA at the World Junior Championship, Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev had to quarantine for a few days, but he cleared all protocol hurdles today and was able to practice with the team. Following this afternoon’s skate, here’s what he had to share:
On if there was any hesitation or nervousness being around all the veteran players
Not really nervous, no. I’m just more excited to be here around those guys. It’s really an honor to practice with those guys. I am trying to do my best out there, every rep I get, trying to work as hard as I can on the ice every rep.
On his expectations for the next couple of days
I don’t know my plans exactly. I’m just going to try to practice and see what’s going to happen. Just try to practice every day as hard as I can and they’ll tell me what to do.
On the pace of camp today, compared to skates at the World Juniors
I think it was a pretty good pace. The pace at the World Juniors was pretty high; the last game vs. Canada and this one was as high, as well. I can’t really compare, but this one might be a bit faster. But they were both really high-speed games and practices.
On if attending training camp last year helped prepare him for today
Yeah, I think I really did actually well. Last year, I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t know what’s going to happen, or the pace. This year, I feel more comfortable being here and knowing what to expect, you should know what to do.
On how he is a different player now compared to his draft year, and what he still needs to work on
I think I’ve been really working on my overall game, trying to be a 200-foot player, being able to play great defense, be better in all three zones. I think I’ve been really trying to improve that. Also, trying to improve my speed everywhere and just try to work as hard, compete really well everywhere in all three zones.
On if he’s been able to develop any relationships with some of the Kings veteran players over his time in LA
I think I’m really getting to know every single guy here. I think I’ve been forming really good relationships with the players here. And I think they’ve been really nice to me and really great people.
On what he was able to take away from USA coach Nate Leaman and maybe incorporate as he moves ahead in his career
I think he was a really great coach – offense and defense, doing a lot of little things. I think he was a great mindset coach, getting the guys fired up, of course. Getting the guys excited. I think he was a really great, structured systems coach, as well. We played really well as a team every game. I thought we really did a great job there.
On the overall experience at the World Juniors
I think it’s a kind of a crazy experience because we couldn’t do much except beyond the hotel and the rink. There was a great bonding around your whole team. I thought the games were really fun. And then I think we had a lot of fun with the team. I think we had a pretty unique, pretty crazy experience. I think that’s always a fun and great strategy, but I think you’ll never forget that moment.
On his biggest takeaway from the entire WJC tournament
Probably friendships. I thought I got to know everyone really well because seeing each other every single day. I basically knew a lot of the guys there, so I thought it was really fun to get to know a lot of other people there and spending time with all those guys.
On what he’s done to improve his game and earn he praise of people like Todd McLellan
I was working this whole summer. Having a really longer break this summer, I really tried to make strides during that time. I’m getting bigger, stronger, faster, and everywhere. I thought I was really focusing on doing that the whole summer and I’ll try to keep doing that, as well.
On any specific thing he did to improve
Just working on skating, I guess. I’m was doing specific workouts, I’m basically doing it every day, every week. I just kept doing that the whole summer.
On if ever wants to see OHL Hamilton again
The goal is to make the NHL, we’ll see what happens, I guess. I’m here, just trying as hard as I can here and see what happens.
For more with Kaliyev, be sure to check out his most recent appearance on Kings Of The Podcast, linked below.
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Lead photo provided by LA Kings