Jonathon Kalinski was born May 25, 1987 in Bonnyville, Alberta. He played his collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota and was drafted by the Philadelpia Flyers in the sixth round of the NHL entry draft.
He began his professional career with the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Phantoms, where his aggressive and agitating style of play earned him his first call up to the NHL. He would appear in 12 games for the Flyers in the 2008-09 season.
Kalinski's time in the Flyers' organization would come to an end in the days leading up to the 2012 NHL trade deadline when he was shipped to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Pavel Kubina.