Kovalev signed a one-year contract with the Panthers that Bob McKenzie is reporting is worth $1 million and also contains bonuses for games played.
Kovalev came to camp with Florida on a tryout contract after playing last season in the Kontinental Hockey League. He last played in the NHL at the end of the 2010-11 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Teams must announce their 23-man rosters for opening night by 5 p.m. ET Friday.
This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.