When it comes to modern goal scorers, there is no one like Alexander Ovechkin. The Washington Capitals winger is one of the greatest players to ever lace up skates for the Washington Capitals and the entire NHL.
Ovi started playing hockey at a young age. At the age of two, he picked up a hockey stick for the first time. After eighth grade, Ovechkin started to attend Dynamo Moscow Sports School, where he trained day and night. At the age of 11, Ovechkin scored 56 goals, breaking Russian legend Pavel Bure’s record. His childhood icon was Pittsburgh Penguins icon Mario Lemieux.
At the age of 16, Ovi started playing in the Russian Super League (a men’s professional hockey league, considered the second best in the world). Ovechkin played three years in Russia and tallied 36 goals and 32 assists in 152 career games.
In 2004, Ovechkin was selected first overall by the Washington Capitals, drawing some comparisons to his favorite player Lemieux. In his rookie season after the lockout, Ovi appeared in 81 games, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists. It’s hard to have a better season than that, let alone a rookie season.
At the end of his rookie season, Ovechkin led rookies in goals, points, power-play goals and shots. He was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as the best rookie in the NHL. Ovechkin was making such a name for himself that he was even on the cover of the NHL ’07 video game. Prior to the 2021 season, Ovi was also announced as the cover athlete for NHL ’21, 14 years later.
Ovechkin had one of his best seasons early in his career. In the 2007-08 season, just his third in the league, Ovechkin tallied 65 goals and 47 assists. He led the NHL in scoring, was awarded the Maurice Richard Trophy for most goals, and won the Hart Memorial trophy as league MVP. It was the first time in 41 seasons that a left-winger led the NHL in points.
Ovechkin continued to rack up trophies. So far in his career he has won nine Maurice Richard Trophy’s, three Hart’s and two Ted Lindsay awards.
The one thing that eluded Ovechkin for most of his career was a Stanley Cup. Ovi received a lot of blame for Washington’s postseason failures, even as he put up points in the playoffs. The Capitals had been eliminated in the second round three straight times, but 2018 was finally the year for Ovi. He ended up leading the Capitals to a Stanley Cup victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. After a long career, Ovechkin finally got what he wanted, a championship and the Conny Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. The images of Ovechkin holding the cup show just how much it meant to him.
Ovechkin is described as a one of a kind player. Even though he has so much skill, he isn’t afraid to be physical and lay the lumber. Ovechkin also has one of the best slap shots in the NHL today.
Ovi is the active leader in goals scored with 706, and is 8th in NHL history. He is 36th in NHL points history with 1,278.
To illustrate how talented of a goal scorer Ovechkin is, he has led the NHL in goals the last three seasons, even at a later stage in his career. In total he has led the NHL in goals nine separate times.
Whenever Ovechkin does decide to retire, he will no doubt be a Hall of Famer. He has been the king of hockey for the past 20 years. It’s also rather likely that no Washington Capitals player will ever wear number eight again, as Washington will almost surely retire his number.
There is no stopping Ovechkin when he is on top of his game; opponents can only hope to contain him. He will forever be remembered among the greats of NHL history, due to his amazing goal scoring, flare, and all around entertaining style.