NHL Future Watch: Bunting, Kaliyev, Foote Highlight Upper Deck Extended Young GunsAnytime you’re looking to invest in some boxes you want to look at some of the key rookie cards. 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended has three under-the-radar rookies, Arthur Kaliyev (Los Angeles Kings), Nolan Foote (New Jersey Devils), and Michael Bunting (Toronto Maple Leafs). I’m going to focus on this trio and prove why they should be on your want list.

Arthur KaliyevMichael Bunting Arthur Kaliyev Nolan Foote 2020 21 Upper Deck Extended Series Young Guns is an interesting prospect. At 6-2, 194 pounds, this talented winger had one of the best shots in his draft class, maybe the best, but projecting the rest was the trick. I ranked him 24th, and that’s held up well. He was drafted 33rd overall and that was a steal. Rankings can be tricky, and player development is something only the player and team can succeed at. The Kings are one of the best at graduating players, and Kaliyev has already played 40 NHL games. This season, 68% of his shots were on goal and that’s why he’s averaging a lot of power play time. The fact that he’s good without the puck and chippy on defense also helped him get to the NHL in quick order. He has 30-35 goal a season potential.

Nolan Foote is the son of longtime NHLer Adam and brother of Cal (Tampa Bay Lightning). This 6-foot-4 power forward is developing nicely. The bigger, physical guys take longer to stick in the NHL, but teams want and covet those players. Especially ones with a pro wrist shot! When there’s a loose puck in the corner in the offensive zone, he believes he will come out with it. His wall play and skating cutbacks are key parts that make him an NHL quality left winger. His hockey IQ is high – that will make him an NHLer, possibly by next season.

Michael Bunting is the best of this trio. He is a legit Calder candidate. He may not make it in the final voting, but he’s in the conversation. Bunting had ten goals in a short window for the Arizona Coyotes. That prompted the Maple Leafs to sign this talented left wing, and he’s rewarded them with nine goals and 24 points. Only three of them are on the power play, so he’s been a great find for them after they lost Zach Hyman. If there’s a rebound, he will battle for it. He only needs a bit of room to score a goal with his wrist shot. He’s playing with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, and he has the speed to keep up with them. Bunting always keeps his feet moving and that draws penalties, and gets the Maple Leafs on the power play with a lot of offensive talent. Now 26, he’s the ultimate late bloomer. The Leafs now rely on his offense, and he’s delivering. He is a must collect, because he has a chance to win one of the most coveted awards in the NHL.

 

NHL Future Watch: Bunting, Kaliyev, Foote Highlight Upper Deck Extended Young Guns – Stats

 

Michael Bunting
Michael Bunting Career Stats

 

Arthur Kaliyev
Arthur Kaliyev Career Stats

 

Nolan Foote
Nolan Foote Career Stats

 

NHL Future Watch: Bunting, Kaliyev, Foote Highlight Upper Deck Extended Young Guns – More Resources

 

Michael Bunting
Arthur Kaliyev
Nolan Foote

 

NHL Future Watch: Bunting, Kaliyev, Foote Highlight Upper Deck Extended Young Guns – Image Gallery

For more from Russ Cohen, follow him on Twitter @sportsology.

Russ Cohen is the author of several top-selling sports related books.

Baseball’s Best Rookies
Numbers Don’t Lie: Mets: The Biggest Numbers in Mets History
100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters
100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
“Strike Three!” – A Player’s Journey through the Infamous Baseball Strike of 1994
The Winter Classic: The NHL’s Savior
The Philadelphia Flyers: Images of Sports
Pioneers of Baseball

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