This Struggling Young Winger Is Logical Trade Target For Montreal Canadiens

Nov 8, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Arthur Kaliyev
Nov 8, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Arthur Kaliyev / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have moved their rebuild along a little quicker with some shrewd trades.

Most rebuilds see teams stockpile draft picks and make as many selections as possible and then just wait and hope the players pan out. Years later they learn whether they drafted the correct players or not.

The Canadiens have certainly made plenty of draft picks over the past couple of years, but they have looked at the trade route as well. This resulted in them landing Kirby Dach in a trade that saw them move out a first round pick. They also landed Alex Newhook last spring for first and second round draft picks.

You don't often see rebuilding teams trading away top picks like that, but both deals sure look like the correct decisions. Since it has worked in the past, we could definitely see them go down this path yet again.

If they do, a very logical target would be Arthur Kaliyev of the Los Angeles Kings. The 22 year old winger was a second round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, barely falling out of the first round, and has a blistering shot that made him an elite goal scoring threat in the Ontario Hockey League.

Kaliyev scored 95 goals over his final two seasons of Junior hockey, and immediately had success at the AHL level. As a 19 year old he scored 14 goals and 31 points in 40 AHL games with the Ontario Reign. His rookie NHL season followed and he scored 14 goals and 27 points in 80 NHL games as a 20 year old.

Last season, he played just 56 games, but scored 13 goals and 28 points which basically had him on pace for 20 goals and 40 points at a young age. This season has not gone as well, with Kaliyev scoring six goals and 14 points in 39 games, and it has led to him apparently waiting for a change of scenery.

According to TSN's Insider Trading segment, Kaliyev is expecting a change and this could happen well before the March 8th trade deadline.

Kaliyev, a highly skilled but underachieving player, is exactly the type of person the Canadiens have targeted in recent years since Kent Hughes has taken over as general manager. His value is down but his potential is still quite high.

It may not take a lot to acquire Kaliyev as he struggled this season. The Canadiens have the Colorado Avalanche's second round pick and could flip that for Kaliyev. Maybe the Kings want a goaltender and the two teams can work out a trade involving Jake Allen, with cap retention, for Kaliyev?

With a highly skilled young player that possesses an excellent shot on the open market, you know the Canadiens will be looking to land him in the coming weeks. A shot like his would be a great fit on a line with a playmaking center like Kirby Dach next season.