Yes, Alex Ovechkin Can Top Wayne Gretzky in Goals

Posted December 18, 2018

(Caps Outsider)

Arguably the most likeable captain in the National Hockey League, affectionately known as the GR8, Alex Ovechkin is unstoppable. The Capitals’ shootout win over Buffalo on Saturday saw the Russian Machine score a goal for the sixth game in a row and rocket to a career high 14-game point streak as his season goal total shot to 29. Prior to the game against the Sabres, Ovechkin racked up back to back hat tricks against the Red Wings and Hurricanes.

The man is a goal scoring machine and is backing up a Stanley Cup-winning season with one in which he is once again on track for 50+ goals. He currently sits in 15th position on the NHL’s all time goalscorers’ list with 636.

Alex Ovechkin’s All-Time NHL Goals Countdown

The question is, can the 33-year old keep up the pace and challenge for the magic number of 894, which is held by the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. It certainly is a revered record, but Ovechkin has been rewriting record books at an incredible rate, climbing his way closer and closer to the all time record. If there is one man in the league who can topple the Great One, the GR8 is the one who could do it.

So just what would Ovi need to do to crack 894? Currently 33 years of age, and in his 14th NHL season, Ovechkin currently sits 258 goals behind Gretzky, who reached his total of 894 goals in 1487 game across 20 seasons with Edmonton, Los Angeles, St Louis and the New York Rangers.

Another avid hockey fan from Perth, Western Australia, Luke Ryan helped me crunch the hypothetical numbers, and below is the ideal situation for Ovi to crack the longstanding Gretzky record.

  • Ovechkin would need to tally approximately another 4 x 50 plus goal seasons, something which he is well on track for in 2018-19
  • He can settle into 2-3 seasons scoring approximately 30 goals
  • He would need to play until at least the age of 40 and remain injury free

With three years remaining on his current NHL contract and plenty of life left in the superstar yet, anything is possible. ESPN calculated that if Ovi were to play another 8 seasons and average 36 goals per season (after scoring 50 this season), that would place him top overall.

Along the course of the remainder of his career, Ovechkin will almost certainly pass Jaromir Jagr, who has 766 total goals, and Gordie Howe, who has 801. The moons will have to align for him to topple 894, but considering his pace this season, don’t bet against Ovechkin.