Alex Ovechkin doesn’t have a child, but Saturday night, we got a preview of what they may be like.
Ovechkin was joined on the ice by four-year-old Jonas Smailys. Jonas, wearing replica Capitals gear, was basically Ovi’s twin for the night… just tinier.
We first noticed Ovi’s special guest when NBCSN cameras zeroed in on The Great 8 while he conducted an Instagram Live session.
Jonas showed off his skills while Ovechkin looked on with glee.
Ovechkin’s wife, Nastya Ovechkina, took several videos of the two’s fun on the ice.
During one part of warmups, Ovechkin garnered laughs from the Amalie Arena crowd when he tripped Jonas to the ice twice.
Eventually, Jonas’s fun had to end. In the locker room, Ovechkin helped his biggest fan tie his shoes so that he could return to his father.
Jonas’s dad Sigi then walked his son back up the stairs to their lower bowl seats, where he was sitting with Nastya and Ovi’s brother Mikhail.
Jonas would prove to be good luck as Ovi would later win the Hardest Shot competition for the first time in his legendary career.
I reached out to Sigi, a close personal friend of the Ovechkins, during the Skills Competition. The Smailys used to live in the DC area before moving to Texas to open a new restaurant.
“He told me to bring Jonas’s gear that’s it,” Sigi said. “Jonas had the greatest time. He’ll never forget this.”
Meanwhile Ovechkin seemed to get just as much out of it as his young fan.
“I told him if we were going to be in the All-Star Game I would take him on the ice,” Ovechkin said to NHL.com. “It’s a lifetime experience. Let him go out first, just see the crowd. I look at him right now and he’s smiling all the time, so it’s pretty cool.”
Ovechkin previously skated with Jonas last April at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as an early birthday gift. The Russian machine also invited the family to a house party during the 2016-17 season where they played hockey in Ovechkin’s garage. Jonas scored twice on Ovi The Goalie.
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