Kw-logo-holiday

Ilya Kovalchuk Biography

Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers is one of the NHL's top scorers.
Courtesy of the NHL
lya Kovalchuk was the first Russian hockey player selected first overall in the NHL Draft.
Courtesy of the NHL

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

    Related Stories:

  • National Hockey League Trivia Test
  • Todd Bertuzzi Biography
  • 2003 Stanley Cup Predictions
  • More Bios of Your Fave NHL, NBA and NFL Players
  • >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    there are 0 comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like it!

    latest videos

    F1068579615671

    Best Russian Hockey Player? Vote!

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

    related stories

    Sports in the forums

    PrincessAmelia
    Lionel Messi!  HE PLAYS SO NICE...[though I was very sad when Argentina lost World Cup by, 1-0. But when I recalled how Argentina won by, 1-7 in Brazil vs Argentina, I was a bit happy...:)]
    reply about 17 hours
    lnwpen88
    lnwpen88 posted in Dance:
    Breakdance, you can post about all the latest dance style.
    reply 1 day
    ds8kw
    My favorite football team is the Giants!! :angel they are doing sooooo bad this season but i still love them!!!  :angel
    reply 2 days
    blackveilbrides15
    I like cheerleading  friend 
    reply 6 days
    nadialovesyou123
    sort of not really
    reply 6 days

    play online games

    Hour-of-code-tumb

    Codey the troll is lost! Help him avoid obstacles and get back into the computer...

    Candy-quest-feature

    Your troll is lost! Help it avoid obstacles and get back into the computer.

    Fo...

    Dragon-dash

    Your dragon must return to guard the treasure! Help it gather lost coins and avo...

    _thumb_100x100

    Shoot blobs with different properties to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be r...

    1005_cc_kidz_100x100_vlh

    Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    _thumb_100x100

    Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

    Frostbox_100x100

    Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...