All throughout his NHL career, Ilya Kovalchuk has worn jersey number 17, but Brett Kulak has worn that number for the past two seasons with Kovalchuk’s new team, the Montreal Canadiens.

Kulak was willing to give the number up, and in exchange, Kovalchuk surprised his new teammate with a neat gesture: A new Rolex engraved with a few words of thanks.

Hilariously, Habs coach Claude Julien jokes that he never got a Rolex for giving a jersey number up during his playing days... but he got a Casio.

Julien will decide on Monday if Kovalchuk will make his Habs debut in the team’s game against the Winnipeg Jets that night, but until then, we can only wait.

Kovalchuk did take the ice with his new team for the first time during Sunday’s optional skate, and you can be sure that there are plenty of folks interested to see if he can fit in with the Habs after a tumultous end to his time with the Los Angeles Kings.



Ilya Kovalchuk takes the ice with the Canadiens for the first time 👀 . (🎥: @canadiensmtl)

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