Nov 5, 2012, 11:03 PM EST
If it wasn’t for the lockout, Ilya Kovalchuk would probably be the New Jersey Devils’ top scorer and Nail Yakupov might already be making his case for the Calder Trophy. As it is, both are excelling in the KHL.
Kovalchuk was recently selected as the KHL’s player of the month and Yakupov was the top rookie for October, according to Chris Johnston.
Kovalchuk already has nine goals and 26 points in just 16 games with St. Petersburg. He’s easily leading the team in points, but St. Louis prospect and current teammate Vladimir Tarasenko has one more goal despite playing in three less games.
The fact that Kovalchuk decided to spend the lockout in Russia isn’t surprising, especially when you remember that he did the same thing in 2004-05, but Yakupov’s decision to play for Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik over the Sarnia Sting in the OHL was perhaps a little unexpected.
Yakupov has been great in the KHL with 10 goals and 14 points in just 13 games. He’s expected to make the jump straight to the Edmonton Oilers when the lockout ends.
- BREAKING: Voynov charged with felony count of corporal injury 1
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ 8
- (Video) PHT Extra: Carlyle’s on the hot seat, Hartley’s riding high 0
- Hextall launched profanity-laced tirade against Flyers last night 28
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him 53
- NHL watching 3-on-3 OT in the AHL closely 12
- Sens’ Murray hopes to bring cancer awareness 5
- Pens’ Dupuis has blood clot in lung, out six months 25
- It’s not all Carlyle’s fault, but the Leafs’ coach is failing at his job 12
- NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Flyers on Rivalry Night 4
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (53)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)
- Video: Malkin runs over Girardi (Updated) (41)
- Bettman calls Panthers relocation speculation ‘unfounded’ (36)