The Colorado Avalanche signed Nikolai Kovalenko, a top prospect, to a two-year entry-level contract on Tuesday
Kovalenko, 23, is expected to continue to play for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the Kontinental Hockey League in the 2023-24 season.
Last season with the Russian club, Kovalenko recorded career highs in goals (21), assists (33), points (54) and games played (56).
In 72 career games in Russia's junior league, the MHL, from 2015-19, Kovalenko notched 17 goals and 33 assists. During this time, he helped his team, Yaroslavl, win back-to-back MHL championships and led the league in assists (11) during the club's first title run in 2017-18.
A sixth-round pick (171st overall) by the Avs in the 2018 NHL Draft, Kovalenko is the son of former NHL player Andrei Kovalenko, who was with the Carolina Hurricanes when Nikolai was born in 1999 in Raleigh, N.C. He was raised in Russia.
The elder Kovalenko compiled 379 points in 620 games with the Quebec Nordiques, Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins from 1992 to 2001
--Field Level Media