“Ilya is more explosive. He can do things with the puck. When he gets a step on a defenseman, he’s gone. It’s really unfathomable to watch him handle the puck.”
—Former teammate Ray Ferraro

-“His skill level is what gets your attention and then the more you watch him, the more you like the way he not only goes around players, but the way he goes through and over his opponents.”
—Thrashers president Don Waddell

“You can’t play one-on-one in this league, no matter how good you are. But what a different player this guy is compared to Pavel Bure or somebody else. He gets involved. He goes to the net hard. He goes to those high-traffic areas where a lot of players in this league don’t.”
—Former Thrashers head coach Curt Fraser

-“He’s all offense all the time.”
—TV analyst Darren Eliot 

“I wish we had more players in the league like him. Every time he gets the puck he makes you nervous.”
—Sharks GM Wayne Thomas

“It’s a lot of fun to play with a guy like that. He creates a lot by himself. He opens up the ice so much. You’re like, ‘How did he pull that off?’”
—Former teammate Serge Aubin

“Ilya gets his shot off from everywhere. He can wait out a goalie and pick holes that I can’t see.”
—Former teammate Jeff Odgers

“He’s either laughing or he’s pissed. His passion gauge explodes every game.”
—NHL coach Bob Hartley

“The Bobby Hull of this era, the number one attraction in the NHL.”
—NHL analyst Doug MacLean

“If you talk about a sniper, he's it. It comes off his stick so hard and fast, and you just hope it hits something on the way through—preferably the goalie.”
—Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen

“He’s a world-class player.”
—Oiles star Shawn Horcoff

“I don't view him as a sniper because he has all these long dashes up the ice, beating two or three people.”
—NHL coach Ron Wilson

“His game has gotten better every year, and he is getting even more physical.”
—All-Star Martin St. Louis

“He's a player who can make other players score. He's a strong athlete, a good skater with a great shot.”
—Devils coach and GM Jacques Lemaire

 


Ray Ferraro, 1995 Pinnacle

 

 


Wayne Thomas, 1978 Topps


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