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Thrashers trade Kovalchuk to Devils @NHLdotcom

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Ilya Kovalchuk has been traded to the New Jersey Devils.

The Atlanta Thrashers sent Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela to the Devils on Thursday night for right winger Niclas Bergfors, defenseman Johnny Oduya, prospect Patrice Cormier and a first-round pick.

The 26-year-old Kovalchuk, set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, turned down the Thrashers' 12-year, $101 million extension offer.

Since the Thrashers drafted him No. 1 overall in 2001, Kovalchuk leads the NHL with 328 goals, but Atlanta has made just one playoff appearance and has never won a postseason game.

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