October 15, 2015

Petr Kalus

Petr Kalus introduction to the National Hockey League promised a great future.

Kalus was a versatile winger, able to play either side. The Ostrava, Czech Republic native was the Boston Bruins' second round pick (39th overall) in the 2005 NHL draft.

The following year he crossed the ocean to play in Canada with the Regina Pats, who had drafted him third overall in the import draft. He would lead the Pats in scoring in his only season of junior hockey in Canada.

Kalus' first pro season (2006-07) got off to a rocky start thanks to a November knee injury that cost him more than a month of missed time. He returned slowly, but as the season progressed he was finding his game.

The Bruins decided to give him a nine game look, and what a look it was. Four goals on eight shots. He showed his great skating ability, not only in terms of speed but his lateral quickness with and without the puck. He liked to skate wide on defenders to release his heavy wrist shot.  He was very much a shooter more so than a playmaker, almost to the point where he did not use his linemates well. He, at times, played with a real edge, as some of his surprising penalty minute totals suggest.

The Bruins used Kalus perfectly in the asset management game. Needing a goaltender they traded Kalus and a fourth round pick to the Minnesota Wild, a team deep with goaltenders. Manny Fernandez became a Bruin.

Petr Kalus became a bust. Kalus would only play in two more NHL games, with the Wild three seasons later. He really struggled in the minors and KHL, scoring only 20 goals over three injury plagued seasons. He did not adjust well to minor league coach Kevin Constantine's strict defensive ways.

By 2011 Kalus had returned to Europe permanently, playing in multiple countries.

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