New York Islanders: Is Jan Kovar Worth A Look?
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders now have a need for a second line center. Is Jan Kovar worth taking a look at to fill that role?
If you read the title and said “who?” I don’t blame you at all. Jan Kovar is a KHL player who is now trying to take his talents to the NHL and is expected to make a decision on which team he is signing with very soon.
Kovar is a center, and at 28-years-old, he’s played the last five seasons in the KHL. Over that time he’s eclipsed 286 points in 285 games. He’s essentially a point per game player at the KHL level this should be a no-brainer right?
Not so fast. After four straight seasons of 20 or more goals and 50 or more points, Kovar had a down year with the Magnitogorsk Metallurg last year. In 54 games he had 35 points (7 goals, 28 assists).
If we use the KHL to NHL translations (Every 1 KHL point is worth .74 NHL points) that would put him at 26 points last year. His career high of 68 points would give him a ceiling of 50 points in the NHL, but are you willing to take the risk that it was just a down year last year?
To me going from 63 points in 2016-2017 to 35 the following year is a huge red flag, especially at 28-years-old.
If I was Lou Lamoriello I would stay far away Kovar. He’s approaching 30 which means that the decline is coming. Sure you can look at someone at 28 years old having a bad year and call it an outlier, or you can say that father time is approaching, and he’s got his first grip on Jan Kovar.
It also depends on what kind of money he’s going to want. Two of the bigger names coming out of the KHL in recent years, Alexander Radulov and Ilya Kovalchuk each received deals with an AAV of $6.25 million.
There’s no chance in hell I’d be willing to take that risk for that price tag. I’d rather stick Anthony Beauvillier out there in fact, who will likely build off a season in which he had 36 points and 21 goals. Oh yea, Beau’s also 21 and makes $894,167 next year.
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To me, I’d rather spend that $6 million on a known commodity in the NHL and preferably someone younger who is still on the rise, rather than on his way down.