Wayne Gretzky is one of the greatest players ever to step foot on the ice. The ‘Great One’ has been retired for decades, but many of his records still stand. After plugging away for over a decade, Alex Ovechkin has just managed to match one of Gretzky’s greatest accomplishments.
Rising to greatness
Alex Ovechkin was destined for greatness from a very young age, and his reputation as a young hockey player led to a lot of interest. The Russian star was the number one draft pick in 2004, when he joined the Washington Capitals. It took him 14 years, but he was finally able to get his hands on the Stanley Cup in 2018 as the Capitals beat the Las Vegas Knights. Despite taking over a decade to win the Stanley Cup, it didn’t take that long for Ovechkin to establish himself as one of the league’s biggest stars. Now, in January 2020, Ovechkin just matched one of Wayne Gretzky’s greatest records.
Scoring 40 goals in any NHL season is regarded as a pretty good one by most hockey player’s standards. Ovechkin has now managed to enjoy a 40-goal season 11 times, with the only other hockey player to have that many being the Great One. Not that he won’t go down as an all-time great, but adding this record to his resume certainly helps make the Russian stand out. To make this accomplishment taste that little bit sweeter, Ovechkin managed to tie the record with a hattrick against the Kings. He was made aware of his achievement after the Washington Capitals played the Kings, although it’s not something he planned on celebrating right away. Instead, Ovechkin said it was something he and his family would enjoy after the season was over.
Going for more
Ovechkin is now into his mid-30s, but there’s a good chance he’s going to continue as one of the top names in the sport for years to come. He is all set to join the 700-goal club, putting him in an elite group of players, including Gretzky, Esposito, Howe, and Jagr. Ovechkin already holds some NHL records of his own, which future generations of players will try to emulate and compare themselves to.
The Russian star became the first hockey player in the NHL to be awarded the Maurice Richard Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, and Art Ross Trophy in a single season. He also owns the most NHL goal scoring titles in league history with eight. While Ovechkin is out in front with Gretzky for 40-goal seasons, but there is one record he has that Gretzky doesn’t. Ovechkin has the most consecutive 30-goal seasons in the NHL with 15, accounting for every single season he has spent in the league.
There is no doubt that Alex Ovechkin will go down as one of the NHL’s greatest ever players. Now that he joins Gretzky on 11 40-goal seasons, the next step is to surpass the great Canadian legend.