The LA Kings signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk to a three-year contract, Kings Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake announced today. Kovalchuk's contract carries an AAV of $6,250,000.
He will wear number 17 with the Kings.
Video: Kovalchuk to wear the Black and White
"The most important thing -- when I met with Luc [Robitaille] and Rob [Blake] and we had a great talk -- is that the team is really good with a great core of guys who have already won. They know how to win and that is my goal, to win the Cup. I want to help the team be better and try to accomplish that goal," said Kovalchuk as to why he decided to join the Kings.
The 35-year-old (born April 15, 1983) is a 6-3, 230-pound native of Tver, Russia, who last appeared in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils during the 2012-13 season. A first overall selection of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Kovalchuk was a point-per-game player, appearing in 816 regular-season games with the Thrashers and Devils, posting 816 points (417-399=816) and 516 penalty minutes.
From 2001 to 2013, no active player scored more goals than Kovalchuk's 417. He has had two 50-plus goal seasons, and cleared the 40-goal plateau six consecutive years (2003-04 to 2009-10). His 0.51 goals-per-game percentage ranks 18th all-time in league history.
Video: Discussing how Kovalchuk will fit in with the Kings
During his 11 NHL seasons, he tied for the Maurice Richard Trophy once (2003-04), was selected to three All-Star games (2003-04, 2007-08 and 2008-09), was selected as a First Team All-Star in 2011-12 and a Second Team All-Star in 2003-04.
Highlights of the 2018 Olympic MVP's career thus far:
- Kovalchuk debuted as an 18-year-old during the 2001-02 season, and he was a Calder Trophy Finalist and a First Team All-Rookie player that year after scoring 29 goals and 51 points for the Atlanta Thrashers despite missing 17 games because of an injury.
- He led the NHL with 27 regular season power-play goals in 2005-06.
- In 32 career Stanley Cup playoff games, Kovalchuk has 27 career points (11-16=27). His eight goals and 19 points (8-11=19) helped lead New Jersey to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, where the Devils lost to the Kings in six games. His eight playoff goals in 2012 tied for first and he led all playoff scorers in 2012 with five power-play goals.
- Kovalchuk ended the 2011-12 season with seven game-deciding shootout goals and 11 shootout goals in total. Both numbers represent NHL records for most game-deciding goals and most shootout goals in one season. He has scored on 38.7 percent of his shootout attempts during his NHL career (24 for 62). He also has 11 career game-deciding shootout goals, tied for seventh all-time.
- Kovalchuk has 14 career overtime goals. Those 14 goals rank eighth all-time in the NHL and second among active players (only Alexander Ovechkin has more with 22 career OTG).
Season Ticket Memberships for the 2018-19 season are on sale now with three membership levels: Full Season, Half Season, and Quarter Season.
Deposits are also being accepted for Groups of 15 or more and Private Event Suite rentals, and deposit holders will receive exclusive pre-sale windows before the general public.
Individual ticket sales information for the 2018-19 season will be released at a later date.