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SENATORS LOOKING AT BRINGING IN VETERAN FORWARD

According to TSN1200, the Ottawa Senators are looking at the possibility of bringing in pending UFA, and veteran forward Ilya Kovalchuk. The addition of Kovalchuk to the Senators roster could be interesting, he could bring some valuable experience to a relatively young core.



The 37 years old Russian had an interesting 2019-20 season. It started out with the Los Angeles Kings, where he had 9 points (3 G, 6 A), 12 penalty minutes and was a -10 in 17 games. He was then put on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout by LA, and was signed a few weeks after by the Montreal Canadiens. He had a bit of a resurgence with the Habs, recording 13 points (6 G, 7 A), 2 penalty minutes and was a +6 in 22 games.

Prior to COVID-19 hitting, the Habs were expected to miss the playoffs, so GM Marc Bergevin decided to try and cash in on Kovalchuk's recent success and traded him to Washington on February 23rd for a third round pick in the 2020 NHL entry draft. In 7 regular season games with the Caps, he had 4 points (1 G, 3 A), 4 penalty minutes and was a +/-0. In 8 playoff games, Kovalchuk put up only 1 assist, 2 penalty minutes, and was a +/-0, as the Washingon Capitals lost to the New York Islanders in round one.

Kovalchuk has had a fair bit of success both at the NHL level and overseas in the KHL. He won the 2003-04 Rocket Richard trophy for most goals during the regular season with 41. He's won the Gagarin Cup as KHL champions twice with SKA St. Petersburg. He led the KHL in points during the 2017-18 season with 63.

Internationally, Kovalchuk has a ton of success too. He's won a U17 World Hockey Challenge gold medal, a U18 World Championship gold and silver medals, two World Championship gold medals, two World Championship silver medals, three World Championship bronze medals, MVP of the 2009 World Championship, and he's also won an Olympic Gold and bronze medals.



Although he's getting up there in age, Kovalchuk has plenty to offer a young team looking for veteran presence, and many would agree there are plenty of teams who will try to make a run at signing him come October 9th.
COOPER GODIN
SEPTEMBER 25, 2020  (9H53)