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Report: Ilya Kovalchuk will join Chinese expansion team

Former Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk will reportedly join a Chinese expansion team next season.
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Former New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk will join a KHL expansion team in China next season, according to multiplereports

Kovalchuk will be leaving SKA Saint Petersburg for Red Star Kunlun after an apparent fallout with Saint Petersburg. Kovalchuk was benched multiple times during the team’s playoff run, and will now leave the club altogether.

The goal scorer could have potentially made a return to the NHL, but opted for the Chinese team instead. He has not played in North America since leaving the Devils in 2013, with 12 years and more than $75 million left on his contract.

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Kovalchuk, a former No. 1 overall pick of the Atlanta Thrashers, scored 417 goals during his NHL career.