Born on April 15, 1983 (38 years old) in the city of Kalinin, Tver region. Since childhood, he was actively involved in sports and was well physically developed, so at the age of 5, his father sent him to the hockey section of the city. Ilya quickly progressed and showed great promise. At the age of 15, he got into the Olympic reserve team. of these, in 1993, he scored 33 goals. In the same year, he was invited to "Dynamo" Moscow. In 1994, he attended competitions in Minnesota with the Spartak children's team, where he scored 22 times. At the age of 16, he signed his first youth contract with a salary of 15 thousand rubles with "Spartak" Moscow, immediately being in the main team, and becoming the youngest player in the Russian league.In 2000, at a tournament in Canada, he was recognized as the best player. In the same year, with the Russian junior team, he took second place at the World Championship for players under 18. And the next year in the same tournament they were able to take first place, and Kovalchuk was recognized as the best striker .
In 2002, Ilya was invited overseas to play for the "Atalanta Threshers" club and was given the first number in the draft of that season. In 2004, he became the league's top scorer and received the "Maurice Richard Trophy" prize. He was recognized as the best Russian player of that year in the NHL.In the 05/06 season, Kovalchuk scored 52 goals and assisted 46 times. In subsequent seasons, Ilya played at a consistently high level. And in 2010, he signed a 15-year contract with the "New Jersey Devils" club. The total amount of the contract was estimated at 100 million US dollars. But as part of the "Devils", Kovalchuk played only 3 seasons, after which he announced his desire to return to Russia. Repeated conflicts with coach Bob Hartley, who repeatedly criticized Kovalchuk for his unwillingness to follow certain instructions from the coach, were to blame. In 2013, Ilya moved to St. Petersburg "SKA" .The agreement was for 4 years. In 2018, he returned to the NHL again, signing a three-year contract with the "Los Angeles Kings". The contract value was 18.75 million US dollars. Ilya played 2 seasons for the club. But without showing good results, he was drafted. In January 2020, he moved to the Canadian hockey club "Montreal". The contract amount was 700 thousand dollars. But after playing only 22 games in February, he moved to the "Washington Capitals", where he played until the end of the season. team captain. Throughout his career, he played 907 matches, where he scored 360 times and gave 458 assists.
Together with the Russian national team, he became a bronze medalist in 2002. Having scored the winning goal in overtime of the final match of the 2008 World Cup, he took a gold medal. In 2015, he won silver medals at the World Championships in the Czech Republic. bronze at the World Championships in Slovakia.
He has a number of state awards: the Order of Friendship, the medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 2nd degree, the title of Honored Master of Sports of Russia.
Actively involved in charity, organizing the matches of the stars of the KHL. All funds raised are sent to orphanages and needy families.
Ковальчук. Сборная России, НХЛ и Олимпиада. КШ #83
December 17, 2021