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Ilya Kovalchuk Biography

With dazzling moves and a supersonic shot, Ilya Kovalchuk has the Atlanta Thrashers in the hunt for their first-ever playoff appearance. Kidzworld looks at the NHL's newest scoring sensation.

Ilya Kovalchuk - Growing Up

Ilya Kovalchuk was born April 14, 1983 in Tver, Russia. His dad, Valeri, played professional basketball, so it was no surprise that he started taking Ilya to the gym for workouts and co-ordination drills when Ilya was just three years old. When Ilya Kovalchuk stared playing road hockey at the age of five, his dad sent Ilya to hockey school to improve his skills. By the time he was seven, Ilya Kovalchuk was skating circles around other players his age, so he started playing against older kids. As a teenager, Kovalchuk soon developed into a left winger with great size, blazing speed and a gifted scoring touch. Scouts were calling him the best player his age in the world and were predicting he would be an NHL superstar. In 2001, Ilya became the first player from Russia to be picked first overall in the NHL Draft, when he was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Ilya Kovalchuk - From Moscow to Atlanta

Ilya Kovalchuk definitely lived up to expectations during his first year in the NHL. He led all rookies with 29 goals and finished second to teammate, Dany Heatley in points. While Kovalchuk showed great offensive creativity and talent during his first year, Ilya also developed a reputation for being a goal suck and a bit cocky. His coaches would sometimes bench him for hanging on to the puck too long or not backchecking on defense and some players weren't too impressed with Kovalchuk's enthusiastic celebrations after he scored a goal.

Ilya Kovalchuk - Superstar Thrasher

Ilya Kovalchuk is now one of the top hockey players in the world and he's helped the Thrashers become playoff contenders for the first time in the team's short history. Kovalchuk and the Atlanta Thrashers' accomplishments this season are even more impressive, considering the team has had to deal with the death of teammate, Dan Snyder and the injury of star Dany Heatley, after the two players were in a serious car accident in September 2003. If the Thrashers make the playoffs in the 2003-04 season, Ilya Kovalchuk will be a favorite to win the NHL's MVP Award.

Ilya Kovalchuk - Did U Know?

  • Ilya Kovalchuk has a pet dog named Image.
  • One of Ilya Kovalchuk's favorite hobbies is bowling.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk wears number 17, in tribute of former Russian hockey great, Valeri Kharlamov.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk doesn't have to worry if he loses his teeth from a hockey fight or a stick to the face. His mother, Luba, is a dentist.

    To download Ilya Kovalchuk Wallpaper for your computer, www.nhl.com

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    Best Russian Hockey Player? Vote!

    • Ilya Kovalchuk.
    • Sergei Fedorov.
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    • Alexei Kovalev.

    Sports In The Forums

    LUCYQWERTY123
    well in my opinion i think its a sport cause its more of gymnastic and gymnastics is a sport so yeah :D :punk :nerd :nerd :nerd :punk :punk :punk
    reply 5 days
    1PhanTrash
    It's definitely an American thing - here in Australia we have like no Cheerleaders or Cheerleading groups. I think it's a sport but I'm not really into it. I think any girls or boys can do it. :3
    reply 5 days
    1PhanTrash
    "Dubadins" wrote: I have never been a cheerleader but I think it is a sport because it is very active and a lot of difficult looking moves. I agree
    reply 5 days
    Wolf74
    Wolf74 posted in Dance:
    use to like ballet and now gymnastics cause ballet does't suit me
    reply 6 days
    Enki
    Enki posted in Xtreme Sports:
    Sure, many girls can fight, in fact some can fight really well, however it is a fact that women are generally physically weaker than men, which means that if a healthy male and a healthy female were to fight then the outcome wouldn't be 50/50 but rather 25/75 if even that much, this assumes that both the male and female have the same experience, training and of course both are healthy. This doesn't mean that women are inferior to men, but I am just pointing out facts, the notion that men and women are exactly the same and should be carrying out the same tasks is ridiculous.
    reply 8 days