Los Angeles Kings Ilya Kovalchuk Out Four Weeks After Ankle Surgery

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Los Angeles Kings during the game against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on November 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings have announced that forward Ilya Kovalchuk is sidelined for at least four weeks with an ankle injury. Kovalchuk underwent ankle surgery over the weekend.

Ilya Kovalchuk Injured

Kovalcnuk underwent an ankle bursectomy procedure that removed the bursa around his said ankle.

So far this season, Kovalchuk has scored five goals and nine assists for 14 points to go along with six penalty minutes. His possession numbers were 47.7 percent CorsiĀ and a relative Corsi of -3.2.

Over his eight-year NHL career, Kovalchuk has played for the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings. He has 422 goals and 408 assists for 830 career points in 841 career games. The Atlanta Thrashers originally drafted the Russian first overall of the 2001 NHL draft.

Kovalchuk also had an All-Star career in the KHL in Russia. He totaled 138 goals and 189 goals in 299 games. The 35-year-old played six seasons with SKA St. Petersburg before returning to the NHL. He signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract in the off-season to return to North America.

The 2018 Olympic gold medalist has gone 11 games without a goal and new coach Willie Desjardins has sat Kovalchuk for long stretches.

What This Means for the Future

This injury is another one to the pile that the Kings have suffered this season. Jack Campbell, Carl Hagelin, Trevor Lewis and Jonny Brodzinski are all still out for Los Angeles. Goalie Jonathan Quick finally returned to the line for the first time in a month.

The Kings sit six points behind the seventh-place Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles made the playoffs last season, but don’t look like the team that made the post-season. The poor start cost former coach John Stevens his job a few weeks ago.

Kovakchuk’s return will be a welcome sight to a team desperate to turn around a season slipping away.

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 08: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Los Angeles Kings during the game against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on November 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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