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2019-20 Rink Wrap: Ilya Kovalchuk

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2019-20 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2020-21. Next up, Ilya Kovalchuk.

Winnipeg Jets v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Regular Season:


Key Stat: Skating in 46 NHL games Kovalchuk averaged more than half a point per game this season (.56) for the first time since 2013.

The Good: In seven regular season games with Washington Kovalchuk tallied four points and all were scored at even strength. In his fifth game with Washington Kovalchuk’s three point performance (1G, 2A) against the Rangers had him looking like the offensive threat he used to be in Atlanta and New Jersey. He found his spot in the middle six forwards and appeared to be trending up as play was suspended in March.

The Bad: Kovalchuk skated for two other organizations this season including in Los Angeles, who terminated Kovalchuk’s contract after their coaching staff exiled him from the lineup. In the playoffs he was invisible with zero points in five games, despite skating more than sixty minutes (12:56 TOI/game). Even worse he only put one puck on net. Kovalchuk’s 115 shots on goal (18 with Washington) this season matches last year’s total and both represent a career low shooting volume.

The Video: Admit it. This got you up and out of your seat.

The Charts:


The Discussion: Did Kovalchuk do enough in a Capitals sweater to earn a contract from Brian MacLellan? With free agency an option does he price himself out of town? Is Kovalchuk’s improved NHL production a sign of things to come? How does his playoff performance impact his options this offseason? Finally, what would it take for you to give Kovalchuk a 10 next season?

Other Kovalchuk Season Reviews: Coming soon!

The Vote: Rate Kovalchuk below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.


How do you rate Ilya Kovalchuk’s 2019-20 season?

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147 votes total Vote Now