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Morning Flurries: Kovalenko signing on the horizon

A highly anticipated prospect could sign with Colorado soon.


A bit of intriguing news dropped this weekend in what has been overall a very quiet and slow Colorado summer.

  • Avalanche top prospect Nikolai Kovalenko’s KHL team Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo tweeted this nugget of information about his upcoming plans for the year.

For those not fluent in Russian the text reads:

Forward Nikolay Kovalenko will continue to play for Torpedo on loan. The hockey player will soon sign a contract with the NHL club Colorado Avalanche, but will spend the upcoming season in the KHL.

Recall that in 2018, the forward was selected in the NHL Draft at number 171.

This is a very interesting solution to ensure that Kovalenko is able to join the Avalanche in 2024 once his KHL season ends. As previously mentioned the May 1st expiration date of all KHL contracts would be a complication and since the war there have not been any examples of early termination in season. With a loan it should be much easier and quicker for Kovalenko to make the transition to North America when the time comes.

Also, by signing a contract now while Kovalenko is still 23 years of age it locks him into a two-year Entry Level Contract presumably through the 2024-25 season. If he had signed next spring at 24 years of age he could only sign for the single current year.

Kovalenko has always been an interesting prospect for the Avalanche due to his ability to forecheck like a madman and his aggressive nature in general. It helped that he just had a breakout season in the KHL where he scored 54 points in 56 games, good for tenth in the league. The increased maturity and ability to convert on his skill makes Kovalenko an ideal candidate to slot in on the Avalanche third line as soon as this spring.

  • Also, it’s the season of player podcast interviews and defenseman Jack Johnson took the time to talk about why he loves Colorado so much.
  • Although it is from before the draft, get to know 2023 first round pick Calum Ritchie in this extended interview.