St. Petersburg, Russia (Sports Network) - New Jersey Devils star forward Ilya Kovalchuk is the latest NHLer to make the leap to Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
The SKA club announced on its site Monday that a press conference on Tuesday will make the signing of the 29-year-old winger official.
Kovalchuk totaled 37 goals and 83 points in 77 regular-season games for the Devils, who fell in a six-game Stanley Cup Finals to Los Angeles this past spring. In 23 postseason tilts, he posted eight goals and 11 assists.
Prior to arriving in North America, Kovalchuk suited up for Spartak Moscow (1999-2001), and spent 53 games with Ak Bars Kazan during the 2004-05 lockout, during which he tallied 19 goals and 42 points.
The NHL locked out its players early Sunday morning after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
Last week, the KHL announced rules for signing players under NHL contracts in the event of a lockout. Teams can sign a maximum of three NHL players and the deals will include clauses for players to leave the KHL once the lockout is resolved.