Danbury forward Kovalev signs NAHL tender
The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks of the NA3HL are pleased to announce that Top Prospects forward Nikita Kovalev has signed an NAHL tender agreement to remain in Danbury, joining the NAHL team for the 2021-22 season.
Kovalev, 19, was a vital piece of the Jr. Hat Tricks NA3HL team during the 2020-21 season. He finish third on the team in scoring with 16 goals, 25 assists totaling 41 points. His 25 assists ranked second on the team and he lead the team with a plus/minus of +21.
Kovalev was a key contributor in all situations and helped the team to a 13-4 March record before their first appearance in the NA3HL Fraser Cup Playoffs in April. He was received an Honorable Mention Bauer East Division Star of the week nod on February 9, after a six-point week in four games, before earning Star of the Week honors March 9 after an eight-point week that included two goals and six assists in four games. Kovalev received another honorable mention nod on March 16 after another eight-point week which included a highlight reel game-winning power play goal (and an assist) in a 2-1 win over the Long Beach Sharks March 14 and a two tally and one helper effort as Danbury topped the Northeast Generals 4-1 on March 16.
He also represented Danbury in both the NA3HL East Division Top Prospects Showcase and the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament where he scored twice.
The 5’9/180 lbs. native of Greenwich, CT played most of his youth hockey career in New England. Kovalev also played two years at Greenwich High School and then spent two years at the Taft School before beginning his junior hockey career. He played with NA3HL and future NAHL Hat Tricks teammate Nick Cullinan at Taft.
“I am looking forward to continuing my development within the Danbury organization. The coaches and staff have been great, They always allow me and my teammates to get as much extra ice time as possible after practices to keep working on our games. I am also excited to continue playing alongside my linemate and great friend Nick Cullinan. I aim to have an impactful season this upcoming year as well as continuing to develop my game and help others get better around me,” said Kovalev.
Former head coach Kevin Cunningham commented, “I am thrilled for Nikita and his family that he has this opportunity to further his hockey career in Danbury. He was a huge part of our successes last season. Kovy is an intense competitor with a strong desire to be the best that he can be. I look forward to seeing him take the next step in his development.”
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which includes one tender exclusively used on players from the NA3HL - plus or minus any trades - which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the 2021 NAHL Draft.