Nineteen days after free agency opened, Ilya Kovalchuk
has decided he's going to remain with the New Jersey Devils
, the team that acquired him in a midseason trade with Atlanta during 2009-10. The Devils outlasted the Los Angeles Kings
, who hosted Kovalchuk last week and were believed to be the favorite to sign him.
Kovalchuk has been among the NHL's most productive forwards since arriving in the League from Russia in 2001. Here's a look at his career by the numbers:
-- Playoff games in which Kovalchuk's team has won. New Jersey won Game 2 this spring against Philadelphia, the only time in nine tries that his team has skated off a winner in a Stanley Cup game.
-- Seasons in which Kovalchuk has had fewer than 40 goals. He had 29 as a rookie in 2001-02, when he missed 17 games with injuries, and 38 in 2002-03.
-- 50-goal seasons by Kovalchuk. In 2005-06 and 2007-08, he scored 52 goals. In '05-06, he did it in 78 games, two years later, he needed 79.
-- Shorthanded goals by Kovalchuk in his eight NHL seasons. He had one in 2003-04 and a pair in 2007-08.
-- Seasons in which Kovalchuk has averaged a point per game. That includes 2009-10, when he had 85 points in 76 games with Atlanta (58 in 49 games) and New Jersey (27 in 27 games).
-- Seasons in which Kovalchuk has had more goals than assists. Only in 2008-09 (43-48-91) and 2009-10 (41-44-85) has Kovalchuk had more assists. For his career, he has 338 goals and 304 assists, a difference of 34.
-- Most game-winning goals Kovalchuk has had in a single season. He notched seven game-winners in 2005-06 and again the following season. His lowest total was three in 2002-03. For his career, he has 41 game-winning goals.
-- Shootout goals by Kovalchuk in 37 attempts since the NHL went to the tie-breaker in 2005. He was 9-for-36 with Atlanta and 0-for-1 with the Devils. Kovalchuk's best season in the shootout was 2007-08, when he went 4-for-10.
-- Combined plus-minus rating for Kovalchuk in 2009-10 with Atlanta (plus-1) and New Jersey (plus-9) -- the first time he's finished a season with a plus rating. Before '09-10, his best showing was minus-2 with Atlanta in 2006-07.
-- Kovalchuk's career shooting percentage, a mark lowered only slightly by his 14.1 percent performance (41 goals on 290 shots) in 2009-10. His single-season efforts range from a high of 18.4 in 2007-08 (52 on 283) to a low of 12.0 in 2003-04 (41 on 341).
-- Average time on ice for Kovalchuk in 2009-10, the most of any forward in the NHL. His average shift time of 1:02 was second in the League, two seconds shorter than Alex Ovechkin
-- Power-play goals by Kovalchuk in 2005-06, by far the most he's ever had in a single season. His next-highest total was 18 in 2006-07, and he's had 12 in each of the last two seasons.
-- Goals scored by Kovalchuk in 2003-04 and 2009-10, the fewest he's had in any of the last six seasons. His streak of six consecutive 40-goal seasons in the longest active string in the NHL.
-- Penalty minutes taken by Kovalchuk in 2005-06, the most he's taken in any season. He's taken anywhere from 50 to 68 PIM in each of the last seven seasons, including 53 this past season.
-- Most points scored by Kovalchuk in a single season. He had 98 points in 78 games in 2005-06; his next-best season was 91 points in 2008-09.
-- Career power-play goals by Kovalchuk, though just two came in his 27 games with New Jersey after being acquired in early February.