Ilya Kovalchuk voted top Russian athlete in 2008 (Press Release)



NEW YORK, NY (January 6, 2009) — Ilya Kovalchuk was recently voted Russia’s top athlete for 2008 by viewers of “Sport” channel and the Russian sports website, The selection was made as part of a tournament format featuring Russian superstars including Alexander Ovechkin, Maria Sharapova, and biathlonist Svetlana Sleptsova.

In one of the most memorable games in the World Championships’ 100 year history, Kovalchuk scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in Russia’s gold-medal victory game at the 2008 IIHF World Championships held in Quebec in May. Kovalchuk’s goal 2:42 into overtime led Russia to victory over Canada and Russia had captured its first gold medal at the World Championships in 15 years.

Kovalchuk was the first Russian hockey player to be drafted #1 overall in NHL history. “Kovy” is currently in his 7th NHL season and is the Atlanta Thrashers’ franchise leader in goals, assists, points, power-play goals, game-winning goals and games played. In 2007-08, Kovalchuk set the franchise single-season record scoring 52 goals, already his second 50-goal season and fourth season of 40+ goals. He is a two-time NHL All-Star and has scored more goals than any other player in the NHL since he entered the league in the 2001-02 season. Kovalchuk was also named Atlanta Professional Athlete of the Year in 2008.

Kovalchuk began his professional career playing for HC Spartak Moscow in the Russian Super League. Kovy has represented Russia in the Olympics, World Championships and World Junior Championships.

“Ilya is extremely honored to be voted the top athlete in Russia. It was a great experience for him to win the World Championships in May and now to be honored in this fashion, is extra special. There are not too many awards that are held in higher regard in Russia,” said Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk’s agent.

# # #

For more information, please contact:

Jay Grossman
PuckAgency, LLC
Telephone: (914) 432-0050