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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Position Left Wing
Shot Right
Height
Weight
6 ft 1.5 in (1.87 m)
230 lb (105 kg)
NHL Team Atlanta Thrashers
Nationality Russia
Born April 15 1983 (1983-04-15) (age 26),
Kalinin, Russian SFSR, USSR
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2001
Atlanta Thrashers
Pro Career 1999 – present


Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk (born April 15, 1983) is a Russian professional ice hockey left winger, who is currently the captain of the Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League.

Contents

Playing career

Kovalchuk played for Russian Super League club HC 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 ice hockey player 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. When Kovalchuk played for his national team he wore number 71.

Kovalchuk with the Thrashers during the 2008–09 NHL season.

Kovalchuk finished second to teammate Dany Heatley in the voting for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2002. Both were named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. In the 2003-04 NHL Season Kovalchuk scored 41 goals, making him a co-winner of the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy after tying for the league lead in goals along with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash. He also added 46 assists for 87 points, tied with Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche for second in the league that season, behind Martin St. Louis. Kovalchuk also participated in the 2004 NHL All-Star Game. After the lockout, Kovalchuk scored 52 times, tying him with Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for third in the league in scoring (behind Jonathan Cheechoo (56), and Jaromír Jágr (54)). He also tied his career-high of 46 assists for a career-high 98 points, finishing 8th overall in scoring and leading the Thrashers in scoring for the second consecutive season. He also became the first Thrashers player to score 50 goals in a season. In the 2006–07 NHL season, Kovalchuk's point production dropped for the first time in his career. He finished with 42 goals and 34 assists for 76 points. Despite his drop in production, Kovalchuk and the Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time. The team lost to the New York Rangers in four games, but Kovalchuk scored one goal and one assist in the series.

In 2006, Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz said Kovalchuk "always plays with an illegal stick." The NHL has subsequently, as of the 2006–07 season, changed the rules on stick curvature to allow for a much more curved stick than was previously allowed. Kovalchuk, under the new rules, claims to play only with a legal stick.

On November 1, 2007 and November 3, 2007, Kovalchuk scored two consecutive hat-tricks despite a loss to the Ottawa Senators and the win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a goal in the next game but lost the chance to score a hat-trick due to being injured midway through. It would have been an NHL record had he scored a third consecutive hat-trick.

On January 23, 2008 Kovalchuk was suspended for one game by the NHL for a hit from behind on New York Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsíval in a game a day prior.

On January 11, 2009 Kovalchuk was named captain of the Thrashers during the 9th Annual Thrashers Casino Night.

Kovalchuk receives endorsments from Warrior Hockey for using Warrior gloves, sticks, and pants.

Kovalchuk scored 43 goals during the 2008-09 season, his fifth consecutive 40 goal season.

International play

In 2006 Kovalchuk played in the Olympics as a member of the Russian men's hockey team, and had a four-goal game on February 19 in a 9–2 win over Latvia, but returned to Atlanta without a medal. In 2008 Kovalchuk played in the IIHF World Championship that was held in Quebec City, Canada where he scored just twice. However, he scored the tying goal in the final game for the Gold medal to bring the game to overtime, followed by the game winning goal to give Russia its long-awaited gold medal. On February 18, 2009, he was named the Russian national team's captain for the 2010 Olympics. In 2009, he led Russia to victory in the world championship and won MVP of the tournament.

Played for Russia in:

Awards

Records

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2001–02 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 65 29 22 51 28
2002–03 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 81 38 29 67 57
2003–04 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 81 41 46 87 63
2004–05 Ak Bars Kazan RSL 53 19 23 42 72 4 0 1 1 0
2005–06 Khimik Moscow Oblast RSL 11 8 5 13 24
2005–06 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 78 52 46 98 68
2006–07 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 82 42 34 76 66 4 1 1 2 19
2007–08 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 79 52 35 87 52
2008–09 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 79 43 48 91 50
NHL totals 545 297 260 557 384 4 1 1 2 19

International

Year Event   GP G A P PIM
2000 WJC-U18 6 2 3 5 6
2001 WJC 7 4 2 6 37
2001 WJC-U18 6 11 4 15 26
2002 Oly 6 1 2 3 14
2003 WC 7 4 0 4 6
2004 WC 6 3 1 4 6
2004 WCH 4 1 0 1 4
2005 WC 9 3 3 6 4
2006 Oly 8 4 1 5 31
2007 WC 9 2 5 7 10
2008 WC 8 2 6 8 52
2009 WC 9 5 9 14 4
Junior Int'l totals 19 17 9 26 69
Senior Int'l totals 66 25 27 52 131

All Star Games

Year Location   G A P
2004 St. Paul 1 0 1
2008 Atlanta 0 1 1
2009 Montreal 0 0 0
All-Star totals 1 1 2

External links

  • Ilya Kovalchuk's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
  • Ilya Kovalchuk - player profile and career stats at European Hockey.Net
Preceded by
Rick DiPietro
1st Overall Pick in NHL Entry Draft
2001
Succeeded by
Rick Nash
Preceded by
Dany Heatley
Atlanta Thrashers first round draft pick
2001
Succeeded by
Kari Lehtonen
Preceded by
Milan Hejduk
(Co)Winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy
(with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash)

2004
Succeeded by
Jonathan Cheechoo
Preceded by
Bobby Holik
Atlanta Thrashers captains
2009 – present
Incumbent

This article uses material from the "Ilya Kovalchuk" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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