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Ilya Kovalchuk traded to New Jersey Devils

February 5, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk, the captain and face of the Atlanta Thrashers franchise, was dealt last night to the New Jersey Devils.  New Jersey sent defenseman Johnny Oduya, forward Niclas Bergfors,  prospect Patrice Cormier, and a 2010 first round draft pick to Atlanta.

Atlanta also sent Anssi Salmela to the Devils.  Salmela was traded to the Thrashers last season in a deal that sent Niclas Havelid to New Jersey.  The teams will also swap second round draft picks.

The addition of Kovalchuk to the Devil’s lineup should bolster their offense, which has staggered of late.  The Devils are 3-6-1 in their last ten.  Kovalchuk will play tonight for the Devils at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Thrashers received an olympian (Sweden) in Johnny Oduya, who should be a huge help for a Thrashers team that is 4th in the Southeast Division.  Oduya is a good puck-handling defenseman who should bolster the team’s powerplay (21st) and penalty kill (18th).  Niclas Bergfors, also Swedish, has represented his country in World Junior Championships and has a lot of potential.  Drafted in 1st round in 2005 (23rd overall), he made the leap onto the Devils club this season as a rookie.

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