How Good is Ilya Kovalchuk Exactly ?!

I don't care about being a star. The most important thing for me now is just doing my job. My name is Ilya Kovalchuk. Ilya was born in Kalinin (now Tver), a city roughly 180 kilometres northwest of Moscow. Born big, he was named in honour of Ilya Muromets, a legendary figure from Kievan Rus'. At age seven, Kovalchuk was invited to join the Spartak Moscow youth school, which he went to every weekend, taking the train with his father. As a youth, Kovalchuk played in the 1997 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with Spartak Moscow. He later played for Russian Higher League club Spartak Moscow for two seasons before entering the NHL. Drafted by the Thrashers first overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, he became the first Russian to be drafted first overall in the NHL's history. In club-level competition, Kovalchuk wore the number 17 as a tribute to Valeri Kharlamov, a Soviet superstar in the 1970s. Entering his NHL rookie season in 2001–02, Kovalchuk scored 29 goals and 51 points despite missing 17 games with a season-ending shoulder injury. He finished second in voting to teammate Dany Heatley for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. Both were named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. After improving to 38 goals and 67 points in his second season, Kovalchuk scored 41 goals in 2003–04, making him a co-winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy after tying for the NHL lead in goals with Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Kovalchuk returned to Russia, playing for both Ak Bars Kazan and Khimik Moscow Oblast of the Russian Superleague. He played 11 games for the team, recording 8 goals and 13 points before returning to the Thrashers and NHL after signing a five-year, $32 million contract. During the 2005–06 season, he scored 52 goals, tying him with rookie Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for third in the NHL in scoring. He also tied his career-high of 46 assists for a career-high 98 points, leading the Thrashers in team scoring for the second consecutive season, while finishing eighth overall in NHL scoring. He also became the first Thrashers player to score 50 goals in a season. In the 2006–07 season, Kovalchuk's point production dropped for the first time in his career. He finished with 42 goals and 34 assists for 76 points. Kovalchuk and the Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Kovalchuk scored one goal and one assist in his NHL playoffs debut as the team lost in the opening round to the New York Rangers in four games. In 2007–08 he finished with his second 52-goal season in three years, along with 35 assists for 87 points. Thrashers' captaincy remained vacant for the first half of the 2008–09 season. Kovalchuk completed his first season as team captain with 43 goals for his fifth consecutive 40-goal season and 91 points. Near the beginning of the 2009–10 season, Kovalchuk scored the 300th and 301st goal of his NHL career. He previously played for the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals in the National Hockey League (NHL), as well as Ak Bars Kazan, Khimik Moscow Oblast, SKA Saint Petersburg, and Avangard Omsk in the Russian Superleague (RSL) and Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Internationally, Kovalchuk has played for Russia in the IIHF World U18 Championship, World Junior Championship, World Championship, World Cup and Winter Olympics, and won the 2008 and 2009 World Championships. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kovalchuk was named the most valuable player while helping Olympic Athletes from Russia win the gold medal.

Chapters :

00:00 - Ilya Kovalchuk Early Years & Atlanta Thrashers.

03:37 - Ilya Kovalchuk New Jersey Devils & SKA Saint Petersburg.

07:12 - Ilya Kovalchuk Kings,Canadiens,Capitals,Avangard and Russia.


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