Ilya Kovalchuk was traded to the Washington Capitals by the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday for a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Kovalchuk signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Canadiens on Jan. 3. The 36-year-old forward has 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 39 games this season, including 13 points in 22 games with Montreal.
He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 17 games with the Los Angeles Kings and was a healthy scratch in his final 18 games before he was placed on unconditional waivers and had his contract terminated by the Kings on Dec. 17.
[RELATED: 2019-20 NHL Trade Tracker]
“Ilya is a talented offensive player who we feel will provide us with additional depth and flexibility up front,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. “He is a skilled forward who can make plays and contribute to our offensive game.”
Kovalchuk signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Kings on July 1, 2018, after five seasons with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. He has 56 points (25 goals, 31 assists) in 103 games since returning to the NHL.
The No. 1 pick by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2001 NHL Draft, Kovalchuk has 872 points (442 goals, 430 assists) in 919 NHL games with the Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, Kings and Canadiens, and 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 32 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He scored 52 goals in 2005-06 and 2007-08 and has six seasons of at least 40 goals. He had 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) to help the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, when they lost to the Kings in six games.
Kovalchuk ranks fourth among active players in goals, behind Alex Ovechkin (700), Patrick Marleau (561) and Sidney Crosby (459).