SKA Hockey Club is glad to announce the signing of a contract with a forward Ilya Kovalchuk. It's a four-year deal. The forward will be playing for SKA under number 17.
He debuted in the Russian Super League with HC Spartak Moscow, before continuing his career in the NHL. Drafted first overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, he began his NHL career with them in 2001–02. After eight seasons with the Thrashers, he was traded to the New Jersey Devils in February 2010 and spent four seasons with them. After 11 seasons and 816 gamesin the NHL, Kovalchuk is 5th all-time in overtime goals scored (14), and 18th all time in goals per game average (.511). He is the 5th highest scoring Russian in NHL history.
Internationally, Kovalchuk has played for Russia in the IIHF World U18 Championship, World Junior Championship, World Championship, World Cup and Winter Olympics, highlighted by back-to-back gold medals in the 2008 and 2009 World Championship. Kovalchuk was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as league rookie-of-the-year. He is a three-time NHL All-Star and won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal-scorer in 2004 in a three-way tie with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash.