The evolution of Ilya Kovalchuk 

May, 28, 2012

Ilya KovalchukBruce Bennett/Getty ImagesIlya Kovalchuk has evolved into a leader on the New Jersey Devils.
One by one they left for bigger success elsewhere. The first to leave Ilya Kovalchuk and the Atlanta Thrashers was Dany Heatley, one of Kovalchuk's closest friends with the Thrashers. He was the roommate on the road who helped Kovalchuk learn English and make the adjustment to North America.

"Dany really helped him out," said Curt Fraser, Kovalchuk's first NHL coach. "Whey Ilya came and they both arrived, they hooked up and did everything together. Dany gets a lot of credit for helping Ilya out, making sure everything was good for him."