for a first overall pick
Who cares, has no bearing on how valuable he is 9 years after he's picked
a guy who plays near 30 min a night
Like Daniel, you're not very good with numbers. He played over 24 minutes per game in 2 seasons with NJ, and over 22 minutes in one season.
lead the forwards in the league in ice time
This has value, but not very much, because Kovalchuk just doesn't do a lot 5 on 5. In Atlanta he and his line scored a ton and got scored on a ton. In NJ his line didn't score that much and didn't get scored on that much. Why is this valuable? It's great if the guy were even above average 5 on 5, but he wasn't.
top 2 one timer and release in the league
And yet neither the bulk goal scoring and goal scoring rate aren't top 2.
lead the team in scoring
And he plays the most ice time. You can't have it both ways. The guy plays both ends of the PP, giant minutes at ES, and tended to be started in the offensive zone more than most forwards on the team - if he's not leading the team in points, something is hugely wrong.
lead in shootouts
Kovalchuk over his career was not a good shootout player and the Devils should not have expected any value to come from him in the shootout. But I'll agree that this was probably worth a huge amount in 2011-12.
run the whole PP
And never in his career run a great one. And be on the ice for a lot of shorthanded goals, which hurt his worth as a PP player.
one of the big time scorer ar the top of the last decade
And again, he played by far the most minutes of any forward.
huge part of our recent PK success
Kovalchuk was fantastic as a penalty killer but he played 160 minutes on the PK and was seldom on the first unit.
Now i bet youre gonna throw shooting % at me and possession numbers and sh!t? I wont even bother reading it you are 100% wrong.
Not one citation of shooting % or possession numbers in this post. I can just go by goals - Kovalchuk was -7 in the last 6 years at 5 on 5 in non-empty net situations. How is this a great player? Show me the greatness.
Anyway, I'm being a bit rhetorical here because on the whole, Kovalchuk's cap hit to the Devils was around $19.8M and his worth was probably right around there, albeit a bit below - I had forgotten about the shootout success which was probably worth 1-2 points in the standings. But if you think his value was way above that, you're just not seeing what Kovalchuk wasn't doing.