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Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

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Alex Ovechkin

 

Alexander Mikhailovich "Alex" Ovechkin born September 17, 1985 is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to entering the NHL, Ovechkin played for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for four seasons, from 2001 until 2005, and returned to play for them briefly during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. A highly touted prospect, Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. With the 2004–05 NHL lockout cancelling the season, Ovechkin remained in Russia until 2005, joining the Capitals for the 2005–06 season. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies with 106 points and finishing third overall in league scoring.

 

Ovechkin has led the NHL in goal scoring, and won the Rocket Richard Trophy, six times in his career. He first did so in 2007–08 season, when he recorded 65 goals and 112 points. He led the league in points, winning the Art Ross Trophy, and also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player and Lester B. Pearson Award as the best player as voted on by the NHL Players' Association. Ovechkin would again win the Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in 2009, along with the Richard Trophy, and won the Ted Lindsay Award (the renamed Pearson Award) for a third consecutive year in 2010; it also marked the fifth straight year that he was named to the First All-Star Team. After a couple years of decreased scoring, Ovechkin again led the league in goals, and earning the Richard Trophy, in 2013, again winning the Hart Trophy. He would repeat as the Richard Trophy winner from 2014 to 2016, scoring at least 50 goals each season, becoming the first player to win the award six times, and the third to lead the NHL in goals that many times, as well as the third player to score 50 goals in a season seven times.

Internationally Ovechkin has represented Russia in multiple tournaments. His first IIHF tournament was the 2002 World U18 Championship. The following year he made his debut at the World Junior Championship, helping Russia win the gold medal. He played two more years at the World Juniors, as well as once more at the World U18 Championships. Ovechkin's first senior tournament was the 2004 World Championship, and he also played in the World Cup that year. Ovechkin has also played for Russia at the Winter Olympics in 2006, 2010, and 2014. Overall Ovechkin has represented Russia at eleven World Championships and three Olympics in his career, winning the World Championship three times. This year Alex Ovechkin reached 500 career goals and has led the league in scoring for the past four years.

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