Thrashers trade Kovalchuk to Devils
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
2010 first-round pick.
The teams also swapped second-round picks this year.
The 26-year-old Kovalchuk, set to become an unrestricted free
agent July 1, turned down the Thrashers’ 12-year, $101 million
Since the Thrashers drafted Kovalchuk No. 1 overall in 2001, the
Russian Olympian leads the NHL with 328 goals, but Atlanta has made
just one playoff appearance and has never won a postseason
Kovalchuk had 31 goals and 27 assists in 49 games this season
for the Thrashers. He missed six games because of a broken bone in
The 28-year-old Oduya has two goals and two assists in 40 games
this season. He’s set to play for Sweden in Olympics.
Bergfors, a 22-year-old Swede, is fifth among NHL rookies with
27 points (13 goals, 14 assists). He was drafted 23rd overall in
The 19-year-old Cormier had 11 goals and 20 assists in 31 games
this season with Rimouski and Rouyn-Noranda of the Quebec Major
Junior Hockey League before he was suspended for the rest of season
because of a hit on an opposing player. He captained Canada in the
2010 World Junior Championship.
Salmela, 25, had a goal and four assists in 29 games this season
for Atlanta. The Finn was acquired by the Thrashers from the Devils
in exchange for defenseman Niclas Havelid and forward Myles Stoesz
on March 2, 2009.