16
Dec
09

Alexei Kovalev

Full name: Alexei Vyacheslavovich Kovalev
Last Team: Florida Panthers
Number: 27
Position: Right Wing
Height: 6’1″/186 cm
Weight: 215 lbs/98 kg
Shoots: Left
Born: February 24, 1973 in Togliatti, RUS
Drafted: Selected by New York Rangers in 1st round (15th overall) of the 1991 Entry Draft

Strengths: Kovalev had all the characteristics of a two-way power-forward. He had a strong slapshot, was a physical threat to his opponent, and could turn defenders inside out with his playmaking skills.

Weaknesses: Despite his skills, Kovalev was an inconsistent producer – a hattrick one game, a -2 rating in the next game. Kovalev had a reputation as a player who didn’t realize his full potential.

Biography: Kovalev was raised in Togliatti – an industrial city on the Volga River. Just like many boys in his town, Alexei wanted to play hockey. His dream came true when he was only a teenager – he was chosen to be part of Dynamo’s senior team in Moscow. In 1991, Alexei was the first Russian to be drafted in the first round of the NHL’s Entry Draft, but stayed to develop further with Dynamo instead. That year, Kovalev had a breakthrough season in the Russian League, scoring 16 times in 33 games. When Kovalev signed with the New York Rangers, he was amazed with his new home and with life in the Big Apple. In his sophomore year in the NHL, Kovalev became one of the first Russians to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, when his Rangers edged out Pavel Bure’s Vancouver Canucks in 1994. That same year Alexei returned to Togliatti during the NHL lock-out. In 1998, Kovalev was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He became only the second player ever to have played alongside Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Mario Lemieux. The 2000-01 season was Alexei’s best in the NHL. He set career highs for almost everything, and finished 4th in league scoring. During the 2001-02 season, Alexei suffered an injury at the beginning of the season. He scored a hat-trick in his first game back, another hat-trick in the following game, and two goals in his third game back! In February 2003, Kovalev was traded back to the team that launched his NHL career. In a year he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens, but joined a dozen other NHL stars to play for Ak Bars Kazan during the NHL lockout in 2004-05. When the NHL resumed play, Kovalev became an instant favourite among Montreal’s fans. Kovalev’s excellent production in 2007-08 was instrumental to Montreal’s finish at the top of the Eastern Conference that season. At the 2009 All-Star Game played in Montreal, Kovalev was chosen as the game’s MVP after scoring two goals, as well as the shootout winner, for the Eastern Conference team. In 2009, Kovalev signed a two-year contract with the Ottawa Senators and was traded back to Pittsburgh in 2011. In the off-season, he signed with KHL’s Atlant in Russia, but played in a limited number of games. Kovalev tried out with the Florida Panthers in 2013 and signed a one-year contract. After just over a dozen games, he was no longer needed by the team and announced his retirement. In international play, Kovalev has been a consistent contributor to Team Russia. He is a gold and bronze Olympic medalist (1992 and 2002, respectively) and has played in multiple World Cup and World Hockey Championship tournaments. In 1998, Alexei was granted a pilot’s license, and flies his small plane all over the world. He is now a helicopter pilot too. Kovalev is also actively involved with charitable causes both in North America and in Russia.

Club Stats:

Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
1989-90 Dynamo Moscow 1 0 0 0 0
1990-91 Dynamo-2 Moscow (USSR-3) 21 16
1990-91 Dynamo Moscow 18 1 2 3 4
1991-92 Dynamo-2 Moscow (CIS-3) 4 5 0 5 12
1991-92 Dynamo Moscow 33 16 9 25 20
1992-93 Binghampton (AHL) 13 13 11 24 35
1992-93 NY Rangers 65 20 18 38 -10 79
1993-94 NY Rangers 76 23 33 56 +18 154
1994-95 Lada Togliatti 12 8 8 16 49
1994-95 NY Rangers 48 13 15 28 -6 30
1995-96 NY Rangers 81 24 34 58 +5 98
1996-97 NY Rangers 45 13 22 35 +11 42
1997-98 NY Rangers 72 23 30 53 -22 44
1998-99 NY Rangers/Pittsburgh 77 23 30 53 +2 37
1999-00 Pittsburgh 82 26 40 66 -3 94
2000-01 Pittsburgh 79 44 51 95 +12 96
2001-02 Pittsburgh 67 32 44 76 +2 80
2002-03 Pittsburgh/NY Rangers 78 37 40 77 -9 70
2003-04 NY Rangers/Montreal 78 14 31 45 -9 66
2004-05 Ak Bars Kazan 35 10 12 22 80
2005-06 Montreal 69 23 42 65 -1 79
2006-07 Montreal 73 18 29 47 -19 78
2007-08 Montreal 82 35 49 84 +18 70
2008-09 Montreal 78 26 39 65 -5 74
2009-10 Ottawa 77 18 31 49 -8 54
2010-11 Ottawa/Pittsburgh 74 16 18 34 -6 44
2011-12 Atlant Moscow Region 22 1 5 6  -13 16
2012-13 Florida 14 2 3 5 -1 6
Totals USSR/RHL/KHL Reg. Season 121 36 36 72 169
Totals RHL Playoffs 4 0 0 0 8
Totals NHL Reg. Season 1316 430 599 1038 -31 1304
Totals NHL Playoffs 116 44 54 958 +5 104

National Team Stats:

Year Tournament GP G A PTS PIM
1990 European U18 6 4 3 7 6
1991 European U18 6 8 3 11 8
1992 World U20 7 5 5 10 2
1992 Olympic Games 8 1 2 3 14
1992 World Championship 6 0 1 1 0
1996 World Cup 5 2 1 3 8
1998 World Championship 6 5 2 7 14
2002 Olympic Games 6 3 1 4 4
2004 World Cup 4 2 1 3 4
2005 World Championship 9 3 4 7 16
2006 Olympic Games 8 4 2 6 4
Totals U18 Level 12 12 6 18 14
Totals U20 Level 7 5 5 10 2
Totals Senior Level 52 20 14 34 64

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Welcome to Russkiy Hockey! This website is dedicated to the most talented Russian hockey players who bring a different game to the NHL - a game of speed, creativity, and discipline. On this site you can find out about the careers and accomplishments of these athletes, as well as about the history of Russian hockey, the latest stats of Russian hockey players, and the national team's successes at international tournaments. Enjoy your visit!

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