Is Ilya Kovalchuk planning on returning to the NHL? We may soon find out. As rumors have been swirling regarding the 34-year-old’s interest in making an NHL comeback, the New Jersey Devils are planning on reaching out to Kovalchuk’s agent.

Devils GM Ray Shero discussed in an interview prior to the NHL Draft Lottery that the team is planning on reaching out to Kovalchuk’s agent in the very near future.

“I plan to reach out next week maybe to his agent. I’ll reach out next week and see if there’s any substance to the speculation of Ilya coming back.” 

Kovalchuk left for the KHL back in 2013 while he was still a member of the Devils and because of that the team still owns his rights. He would be free to join a different team upon his return, but that would require the approval of all NHL teams – a scenario which won’t happen.

In summary, if the rumors pan out, the most likely outcomes involve Kovalchuk returning and playing for the Devils or the Devils signing Kovalchuk and then trading him away. Kovy returning to the Devils would immediately give the team a big boost as he could slide right into a top-6 spot.

The Devils were dreadful offensively in 2016-17, but they could be in line to start turning things around with Kovalchuk back in the mix alongside their new, shiny first overall draft pick.


About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.