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Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk is a Russian professional ice hockey left winger currently playing for SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. He debuted in the Vysshaya Liga with Spartak Moscow, before continuing his career in the National Hockey League . 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 later signed a 15-year, $100 million contract during the off-season after a 17-year, $102 million was rejected by the league as being an attempt to circumvent salary cap restrictions. Three years later, he retired from the NHL on July 11, 2013, having played 11 seasons. Kovalchuk is fifth all-time in overtime goals scored , and 18th all time in goals per game average . He is the seventh highest scoring Russian in NHL history.

Ilya Kovalchuk
Ilya Kovalchuk 2012-12-21.jpeg
Born (1983-04-15) April 15, 1983 (age 33)
Kalinin, Russian SFSR, URS
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 230 lb (100 kg; 16 st 6 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Right
KHL team
Former teams
SKA Saint Petersburg
Ak Bars Kazan
Khimik Moscow Oblast
Atlanta Thrashers
New Jersey Devils
National team  Russia
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2001
Atlanta Thrashers
Playing career 1999–present

Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk (Russian: Илья́ Вале́рьевич Ковальчу́к; born April 15, 1983) is a Russian professional ice hockey left winger currently playing for SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. He debuted in the Vysshaya Liga with Spartak Moscow, before continuing his career in the National Hockey League (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 later signed a 15-year, $100 million contract during the off-season after a 17-year, $102 million was rejected by the league as being an attempt to circumvent salary cap restrictions. Three years later, he retired from the NHL on July 11, 2013, having played 11 seasons. Kovalchuk is fifth all-time in overtime goals scored (14), and 18th all time in goals per game average (.511). He is the seventh 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.