Kovalchuk expected to be traded soon

It appears as though Ilya Kovalchuk is on his way out of Atlanta.

The Thrashers’ star is out of a contract at season’s end and has yet to reach a new deal with Atlanta. Thrashers general manager Don Waddell recently told his captain that he should expect to be dealt soon, Sportsnet confirmed.

According to Hockeycentral sources, the teams in the mix to land Kovalchuk include the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

The Thrashers selected Kovalchuk with the first pick in the 2001 draft and are looking to move the sniper before the March 3 trade deadline.

In 594 career games with Atlanta, he has scored 328 goals and set up another 287.