Avalanche Sign A Familiar Name To 2-Year Contract

The bloodlines run deep in the Colorado Avalanche organization for the Kovalenko family. After turning himself from a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft to one of the team's better prospects, 23-year-old Nikolai Kovalenko has earned a two-year entry-level deal with the Avs. He's following in the footsteps of his father Andrei, who played for the very first iteration of the Avalance back in 1995 after they moved from Quebec.

The younger Kovalenko has yet to play a game in an Avalanche uniform, as he's spent the past five seasons since his draft year in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.

He is interested in making the plunge across the sea to come to the NHL, but he has one more year still to fulfill on his KHL contract. After that, as a mature 24-year-old, he'll have a shot to earn himself a spot in the Avs lineup next fall. 

Kovalenko, playing for Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo in the K, potted 21 goals and had 54 points in 56 games this past season.

It won't be too long before another Kovalenko is wearing the Avs uni. His Dad Andrei scored 22 points in 25 games in the team's debut season in Colorado, before he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens. 

 Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports