Alex Ovechkin probably won’t break Wayne Gretzky’s goals record next season.
At 822 goals, Ovechkin sits 72 tallies short of Gretzky’s 894 heading into the 2023-24 campaign.
Ovechkin’s career best goal-scoring season was in 2007-08, when as a 22-year-old he scored 65 times en route to winning the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and Rocket Richard Trophy. So it’s pretty safe to assume that at age 38, Ovechkin is unlikely (though I would never put it completely past him) to break Gretzky’s record next year.
But there is one huge milestone he’s set to reach in the first month or two of the season.
According to NHL PR, Ovechkin sits 15 points shy of the 1,500 point milestone. Hitting that mark would put the Capitals’ captain in some rare air.
Ovechkin would become the 16th player ever to reach the club, joining Wayne Gretzky (2,857), Jaromir Jagr (1,921), Mark Messier (1,887), Gordie Howe (1,850), Ron Francis (1,798), Marcel Dionne (1,771), Steve Yzerman (1,755), Mario Lemieux (1,723), Joe Sakic (1,641), Phil Esposito (1,590), Ray Bourque (1,579), Joe Thornton (1,539), Mark Recchi (1,533), Paul Coffey (1,531), and Sidney Crosby (1,502).
Ovechkin would be only the second non-Canadian to reach the mark (after Jagr), and he’d be the eighth player ever to do so with one team.
Alex Ovechkin skates into the 2023-24 season 15 points shy of 1,500 and can become just the second player born outside of Canada to reach the milestone, joining Jaromir Jagr. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/F4PlDFYDDx
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 26, 2023
Most people think of Ovechkin as solely a goal-scorer, but hitting 1,500 points would be more proof that he’s also one of the most talented playmakers in NHL history. Ovi has 663 assists, ranking him 69th (nice!) all-time. If he can average 30 apples a season for the next three years (he’s averaged 37 per season in his career), he could end his playing days in the NHL’s top 50.
Other achievements Ovechkin could hit next season include the empty-net goals record (Ovi sits two behind Wayne Gretzky’s all-time mark of 56) and the game-winning goals record. Jagr, at 135, has 11 more career game-winners than second-place Ovechkin. Finally, if Ovi hits 30 goals again, it would mark his 18th career 30-goal season, breaking the tie with Mike Gartner for most 30-goal seasons ever.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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