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Name: Ilya KovalchukNew Jersey Devils (#1/2001 NHL Draft)

Rating: 98
Height: 188cm/6'2"
Weight: 106kg/233.2 lb
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Right
Born: 1983-04-15
Birthplace: Tver, Russia

Game Worn Jerseys:
None Available
On Kirill Kabanov 's saga (08/28/2009)
Stanislav Bocharov: I love scoring (06/26/2009)
Stanislav Chistov (Boston Bruins): It would have been more right if King told me to my face (08/11/2008)
Alexey Cherepanov (New York Rangers): I heard that some NHL teams don't like Russian hockey players too much. (06/23/2007)
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Player News
06/29/2011 Alexander Vasyunov (New Jersey Devils) signs 1 year deal with former club Lokomotiv

National Hockey League (NHL) -  Alexander Vasyunov (New Jersey Devils) will return to Russia for at least a year, signing a 1 year deal with HC Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl). The young forward has spent part of the last season skating for the New Jersey Devils, though his performance was uneven despite given chances and significant playing time with Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils) at one point. He was qualified by the Devils this year to reserve his rights, but only with a two-way deal. Though this did not guaranty a ticket to the AHL, it appears not to be the chance Vasyunov is willing to take. The young forward will again be elligible to return to the NHL next summer.
09/16/2010 Message received, NHL insiders say in wake of Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils) contract clash

National Hockey League (NHL) -  The record $3-million (U.S.) fine and the loss of first- and third-round draft picks levied against the New Jersey Devils as punishment for the first version of Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils)’s contract is all about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman delivering a hard message to owners and general managers: We warned you about trying to circumvent the salary cap, and these are the consequences. (The Globe and Mail article by David Shoalts and Eric Duhatschek) READ MORE
06/10/2010 Agent Ilya Moliver: "Kabanov's problem is his father"

Canadian Junior Leagues -  Russian popular newspaper Sovietskiy Sport had an interview with Russian agent Ilya Moliver, who works for Jay Grossman's agency. Some of his clients are Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils), Nikolai Khabibulin (Edmonton Oilers) and Pekka Rinne. He talked about his relationships with Kirill Kabanov and his father, stating that Kirill isn't the one to be blamed. ( interview translated by Alessandro Seren Rosso) READ MORE
06/07/2010 Inside Kovalchuk's value, where he will sign as free-agent star
03/04/2010 Russian players moved at NHL trade deadline
01/07/2010 Top 5 reasons why Russia failed at WJC
09/11/2009 Ilya Kovalchuk's contract tops Thrashers' to-do list
08/31/2009 Smyl discusses newcomer Sergei Shirokov (Vancouver Canucks)
07/24/2009 Ovechkin headlines list of top 10 Russian players
05/06/2009 Quarter final 1: Russia continues to fight for the medals
08/11/2008 Stanislav Chistov (Boston Bruins): It would have been more right if King told me to my face
05/18/2008 Kovalchuk scores in overtime to beat Canada 5-4 in Quebec City.
05/18/2008 Russia wins Gold! Kovalchuk has scored for Russia!
05/14/2008 Russia beats Switzerland in quarterfinals, but loses Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) to suspension
05/06/2008 Web Site News: Canada edges U.S., Russia beats Denmark at hockey worlds
05/05/2008 Ilya Kovalchuk's limited edition jersey added to the website!
03/07/2008 Which Russian Superstar Has Had the Better Season? ( article)
04/26/2007 Team Russia announces final roster
10/08/2005 Ilya Kovalchuk returns to the NHL!
09/07/2005 Ilya Kovalchuk likely to get a three year deal with Atlanta Thrashers
09/06/2005 RSL's Khimik announces roster with Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)!
08/31/2005 Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) signs new deal in Russia
08/19/2005 Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers): Super League? Maybe... (Sov Sport Interview)
01/18/2005 Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) will remain in Russia for the rest of the season
11/13/2004 Russia loses a close game to Finland (box score, game notes)
08/22/2004 Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) signs lockout deal with Ak Bars (Russia 1)
08/03/2004 Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) close to signing with CSKA Moscow
04/30/2004 Alexander Ovechkin chosen over Sergei Mozyakin (Columbus Blue Jackets), who was sent home from national team
Talent Analysis:
At 6’2 and 235 pounds, Ilya Kovalchuk already has the size to be a force in the NHL. As many Russian players, he will probably add more bulk after crossing over to North America. This young star has the skills to complement his great athleticism. As one scout put it "He’s big, tough and he’s got the puck all night,". His explosive skating has been compared to that of the likes of Bure and is able to maneuver through heavy traffic. Besides being a powerful goal scorer, Ilya is also a great playmaker, possessing great puckhandling skills. Ilya’s great size would not have been as an effective asset without his great intensity. Ilya uses his size to fight for the puck and does not hesitate to get his hands dirty in a physical game, leading this season Spartak Moscow with 78 penalty minutes. Ilya is also a very feisty player, constantly getting into fights with his opponents. In an interview with the Sport Express Newspaper that is available in a link below, he explained his involvement in fights with the following reasoning: "Other teams have the same young players like me and when they begin to beat our veterans, we have to get out there and help them out". This irreplaceable team player quality Ilya possesses makes him an appealing player for any team.
Back In Russia:
In Russia, Ilya started his career with HC Tver, the farm team for Dynamo Moscow. After a year with Dynamo, Ilya signed a short term contract with Spartak, which was on its way to North America and needed additional forwards. Ilya fit with Spartak’s offensive style of play, which was very different on Dynamo’s emphasis on defense, and decided to stay with the club, despite its demotion into the Upper League from the primary Super League. During the 1999-2000 season Ilya spent the majority of his time with Spartak’s junior team, amassing 70 goals, twice as many as the next highest scorer in the League. In July 2000, Ilya was drafted by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 10th overall in the CHL Entry Draft. The Eagles gambled that the young star may cross to North America this year. Their hopes were not without any basis, as Ilya’s agent was Mark Gandler, the same agent that represents Alexei Yashin, but also the same agent that delivered Denis Shvidki to the OHL at the age of 17. However, Ilya made the decision to stay with Spartak Moscow for the 2000-01 season. Ilya’s justified his decision in an interview with the following: "What good is going to be for me going there and getting 100 points per season with relative ease. Am I going to reach my pick there prior to moving up to the NHL?"

On the International scene, Ilya has been a force to be reckoned with. In the 2000 Five Nations Tournament Ilya was acknowledged as the best forward, scoring 6 points (4+2). At the 1999 Canada Challenge Cup for under-17 teams, Ilya delivered an amazing performance. In the tournament he scored 14 points (10+4) in only six games. The hockey experts present at the tournament were so impressed with the Russian’s performance that for the first time in history of international hockey, they demanded his hockey stick for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Ilya started off the 2000-01 season fairly slow, ranking 6th on the team in scoring after the mid point of the season. However, during the second half of the season, especially after the lack luster performance at the 2001 World Junior Championships, Ilya picked his game up, rising to third in points and second in goals with 43 points and 25 goals in only 39 games. Ilya played well, but not great at the 2001 World Junior Championships, scoring only 6 points (4+2) in seven games. However, as he explains in the interview you can read below, the reason for the team’s low finish was it lack of cohesion as a single unit.
NHL Outlook:
Ilya was drafted #1 overall in the 2001 NHL entry draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. Many scouts considered him a better pick then Jason Spezza (who was chosen #2 overall by the Ottawa Senators, from the NY Islanders). Some scouts even went as far as to state that this young Russian star is on the path to eclipse Pavel Bure and once scout even considered him to be the best prospect since Mario Lemieux.
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2005-06 Khimik (Mytische) Super League (Reg.)11 8 5 13 24 5
2004-05 Team Russia World Championships (Intl.)9 3 3 6 4 0
2004-05 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Playoffs)4 0 1 1 0 -2
2004-05 Team Russia Sweden Games (EuroTour) (Intl.)2 0 0 0 0 -
2004-05 Team Russia ROSSNO Cup (Intl.)3 1 1 2 25 -
2004-05 Team Russia Karjala Cup EuroTour (Intl.)1 0 0 0 0 -
2004-05 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)53 19 23 42 72 +16
2003-04 Atlanta Thrashers NHL (Reg.)29 18 16 34 20 -2
2002-03 Atlanta Trashers NHL (Reg.)81 38 29 67 45 -24
2001-02 Atlanta Trashers NHL (Reg.)65 29 22 51 28 -19
2001-02 Team Russia Olympics (Intl.)6 1 2 3 14 -1
2000-01 Spartak (Moscow) Upper League (Playoffs)8 10 3 13 20 -
2000-01 Spartak (Moscow) Upper League (Reg.)39 25 18 43 78 34
2000-01 Team Russia 83 5 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)4 4 2 6 14 -
2000-01 Team Russia 83 5 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)4 4 3 7 14 5
2000-01 U20 Team Russia U20 IIHF WJC (Intl.)7 4 2 6 37 4
1999-00 Spartak (Moscow) Upper League (Playoffs)4 1 1 2 2 -
1999-00 Spartak (Moscow) Upper League (Reg.)45 11 4 15 73 -
1999-00 Team Russia 83 Vyzov Cup (Intl.)5 10 4 14 0 -
1999-00 Team Moscow 83 Regional Tourn. (Juniors)5 9 3 12 10 -
1999-00 U18 Team Russia U18 WJC IIHF (Intl.)6 2 3 5 6 6
1999-00 Spartak (Moscow) Junior Team Tourn. (Juniors)8 4 2 6 6 -
1998-99 Spartak Moscow 2 1st League (Juniors)2 2 1 3 14 -
1998-99 Team Russia 83 4 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)3 3 2 5 0 0
Team Russia WC 6 3 1 4 6 0
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