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Alex Ovechkin career goals and rank on NHL all-time scoring list

Alex Ovechkin continues to charge up the NHL’s all-time goals scored list.

The Capitals captain entered the 2021-22 season sitting on 730 career goals. It put him 164 tallies back of Wayne Gretzky’s chart-topping 894. There have been question marks regarding whether or not he can surpass “The Great One’s” number as “The Great 8” hits the latter years of his career. But, as Gretzky says, he expects him to — and hopes he does — break the all-time record.

NHL POWER RANKINGS: Ovechkin leads surging Capitals

As Ovechkin moves through the record book Sporting News breaks down where he stands and where he’s heading as the march to 895 begins in earnest.

All stats updated on Nov. 8.

NHL’s all-time goals leaders

Over the course of 1,487 NHL games, Wayne Gretzky scored 894 career goals which average out to 0.60 goals per game. By comparison, as of Nov. 8, Ovechkin has 741 goals in 1,209 career games which average out to 0.61.

PLAYERTEAMSGOALS
Wayne GretzkyEDM, LAK, STL, NYR894
Gordie HoweDET, HFD801
Jaromir JagrPIT, WSH, NYR, PHI, DAL, BOS, NJD, FLA, CGY766
Brett HullCGY, STL, DAL, DET, PHX741
Alex OvechkinWSH741

Alex Ovechkin’s next 10 opponents

Over the course of his career, the team Ovechkin has found the back of the net against the most is the Lightning. He’s faced his former Southeast Division rivals 74 times and has notched 49 goals. The next team on the list is the Jets with 48 goals in just 67 games.

DATEOPPONENTCAREER GOALS (GP/G)
Thurs., Nov. 11at Red Wings20 goals in 28 games (0.71)
Fri., Nov.12at Blue Jackets18 goals in 37 games (0.49)
Sun., Nov. 14vs. Penguins36 goals in 65 games (0.55)
Tues., Nov. 16at Ducks12 goals in 20 games (0.60)
Wed., Nov. 17at Kings11 goals in 21 games (0.52)
Sat., Nov. 20at Sharks12 goals in 22 goals (0.55)
Sun., Nov. 21at Kraken0 (NHL’s newest franchise)
Wed., Nov. 24vs. Canadiens33 goals in 50 games (0.66)
Fri., Nov. 26vs. Panthers40 goals in 66 games (0.61)
Sun., Nov. 28at Hurricanes43 goals in 81 games (0.53)

Splits provided by Hockey Reference.

Alex Ovechkin’s goals/game by season

If you think, well he’s 36, can he keep producing? Ovechkin is like a fine wine, he’s just getting better with age.

SEASONGPGOALSG/GP
2005-0681520.64
2006-0782460.56
2007-0882650.79
2008-0979560.71
2009-1072500.69
2010-1179320.41
2011-1278380.49
2012-1348320.67
2013-1478510.65
2014-1581530.65
2015-1679500.63
2016-1782330.40
2017-1882490.60
2018-1981510.63
2019-2068480.71
202145240.53
2021-2212110.92

Will Alex Ovechkin pass Wayne Gretzky?

Never say never!

Entering this season, Ovechkin trailed Gretzky by 164 goals. While he’s off to a torrid start, it’s unlikely that he’ll keep finding the back of the net once per game. A reasonable high end might be the 50-goal barrier which he hit most recently in 2018-19, though he did score at a 50-goal pace during the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season.

50 goals over an 82-game season checks in at a 0.61 goals per game pace. If he plays every game moving forward — unlikely to say the least — he would need 269 games (as of Nov. 5) to catch Gretzky. That would be sometime during the 2024-25 season.

Of course, if he continues scoring at a blistering pace, he could get there sooner. Ovechkin’s career-high for goals per game is 0.79 which he set way back in 2008-09. At even the rosiest projection, the earliest Ovechkin could catch Gretzky is midway through the 2023-24 season.

It’s impossible to predict health but needless to say, that’s perhaps the biggest factor in assessing the 36-year-old’s chances at becoming the all-time scoring champ.

How many Rocket Richard Trophies has Alex Ovechkin won?

Awarded to the NHL’s top goal scorer by the NHL Board of Governors, the Maurice Richard Trophy, or commonly called the Rocket Richard Trophy, was provided to the NHL by the Montreal Canadiens in honor of the Hall of Famer. Over the course of 18 seasons with the Canadiens, Maurice led the NHL in goals five times, was the first to score 50 in 50 games in 1944-45 and the first-ever 500-goal scorer in the league’s history. He finished his career with 544 goals in 978 games.

The trophy was first handed out following the 1998-99 season to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne who led the NHL with 47 goals.

Ovechkin has captured the trophy a record nine times. He could have won it his rookie year but lost out to the Sharks’ Jonathan Cheechoo by four goals and was a goal short in 2009-10.

OVECHKIN: Top 7 career goals

Seasons Alex Ovechkin won the Rocket Richard Trophy

SEASONGOALS
2019-2048
2018-1951
2017-1849
2015-1650
2014-1553
2013-1451
2012-1332
2008-0956
2007-0865



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