Arthur Kaliyev is one of two top prospects that the Kings have signed to entry-level deals. Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings have inked a pair of top prospects, signing Arthur Kaliyev and Jordan Spence to three-year entry-level contracts. Both players are expected to return to the CHL next season.

Kaliyev, 18, was selected 33rd overall by the Kings last year after falling out of the first round. The young forward is one of the most lethal goal-scorers in all of junior hockey, lighting the lamp 126 times over his 192 regular-season games for the Hamilton Bulldogs. After scoring 102 points in his draft year, the 6-foot-2 winger came back with an even better point rate in the shortened 2019-20, recording 98 in just 57 games.

While there is still work to do on several parts of his game, Kaliyev represents a potential top-six option for the Kings that could be lethal on an NHL power play. Should he fail to make the Los Angeles roster in 2020-21, he will not be eligible to play in the AHL and would have to return to Hamilton.

Spence, meanwhile, wasn’t drafted quite as high, picked 95th overall by the Kings last year, but is still making quite an impact. The 19-year-old was named QMJHL defenseman of the year after recording 52 points in 60 games for the Moncton Wildcats. Actually born in Australia, Spence is quickly rising up prospect rankings despite being a mid-round pick and could legitimately challenge for an NHL roster spot in the next few years.

Like Kaliyev, Spence will not be eligible for AHL play next season and will likely return to help the Wildcats once again. Both contracts are eligible to slide forward if the players are sent back to junior.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.



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