Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, Larson, Dawes honoured at KHL awards


Ilya Kovalchuk won a gold medal at the 2018 Olympics as a member of the Olympic Athletes From Russia team. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Former NHLers Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Nigel Dawes and Philip Larson were among those honoured by the KHL Wednesday at the league’s annual awards ceremony.

Kovalchuk took home the best point-scorer award after leading the KHL with 63 points in 53 regular-season games. Meanwhile, his SKA St. Petersburg teammate Nikita Gusev took home the Golden Stick award as the KHL’s most valuable player.

Datsyuk was given a special award after winning his first Olympic gold medal and adding to his Hall of Fame-calibre career.

Dawes was honoured as the league’s top goal scorer. The Winnipeg native and 2003 fifth-round pick of the New York Rangers scored 35 times in just 46 games. It was his fourth consecutive 30-goal campaign.

Larson was named defenceman of the year in his first season back in the KHL. The 28-year-old Dane, who spent the 2016-17 campaign with the Vancouver Canucks, led all KHL blueliners in points with 38 in 54 games with Ufa Salavat Yulayev.

Vitaly Kravtsov was the recipient of the Alexei Cherepanov Award as top rookie after an impressive campaign with Chelyabinsk Traktor. The award is named after the late New York Rangers 2007 first-round draft pick who died in 2008 at age 19.

Pavel Francouz was named goalie of the year for his stellar work with Chelyabinsk Traktor. He went 15-11-5 with a sterling .946 save percentage and 1.80 goals-against average. Olga Sosina was named women’s player of the year after averaging nearly two points per game with Agidel Ufa. Top coaching honours went to Zinetula Bilyaletdinov for leading Ak Bars Kazan to its third Gagarin Cup championship since 2009.

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