It sure looks like former New Jersey Devils' superstar Ilya Kovalchuk is going to be back in the National Hockey League soon enough. The 6 foot 3, 230 pound winger, who just turned 35 just a few days ago, is apparently going to travel to the United States as soon as tomorrow to beging meetings with some National Hockey League teams. This is at least what KHL insider Aivis Kalnins reported on his Twitter account just minutes ago.
Here is exactly what he said:
"Ilya Kovalchuk is set to travel to the United States tomorrow and begin meetings with NHL teams."
We do not have more information about who he is going to meet, or when, but another KHL insider, Igor Eronko from Sport-Express, has corroborated this info:
"Ilya Kovalchuk told @rsportru he goes to US for contract talks. After that he will attend Putin's inauguration on May 7"
We reported numerous times over the past few weeks that many rumors have said Kovalchuk had signed a contract with the New York Rangers, the one team that he seemed to be looking forward to play for. Eronko also reported on April 9 that the veteran forward was going to sign a two or three year contract with the Rangers, which would mark his return to the NHL for the first time since 2013.
Now more than two weeks later, it does not seem so sure:
"Per source Ilya Kovalchuk is set to sign at 2-3 year deal with the New York Rangers"
Kovalchuk was once again the KHL’s leading scorer last season. In 53 games, he amassed 31 goals and 63 points. Considering he has not set foot in North America for more than four years, not many people are expecting him to score 50 goals next season in the NHL. But it is clear that he could help some organizations to get over the struggles that they have had lately... We are obviously talking about the Dallas Stars, here.
He also played a total of 816 games in his NHL career, with both the Atlanta Thrashers and the Devils. He averaged exactly a point per game since the Thrashers selected him with the first overall pick, back in 2001. He recorded 417 goals and 399 assists for 816 points. He also played 32 playoffs games, in which he scored 11 goals and 27 points.