Alexander Ovechkin is likely the greatest pure-goal scorer in hockey history and undoubtedly the greatest goal-scorer in the NHL since 2000. While the sports and betting world focuses heavily on NFL predictions, Ovechkin has built a legacy with hard-hitting games, with one of the greatest and smoothest one-timers in hockey history.
With the NHL schedule having a gap before the Stanley Cup Finals between the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights, we’re using this space to preview the upcoming Alex Ovechkin prop bets for the GR8 CHASE and why we think he’ll need a 20th NHL season to break one of Wayne Gretzky’s records’ few believed could be broken.
The King of Stats: Ovechkin’s Remarkable Legacy
In any sports betting endeavor, you must consult stats, NHL odds, and trends to help inform your betting picks. As Ovechkin moves one season closer to ending his legendary career, he’s also fighting an athlete’s biggest enemy: time.
Most athletes’ statistical production and overall performances drop. However, Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring has remained consistent even with age.
Ovechkin has 822 goals in his career, with his single-season career high being 65 goals in 82 games back in 2007-2008 and averaging 45.7 goals per season. Important to his GR8 Chase and any Alex Ovechkin prop bets is that Ovechkin has been remarkably healthy throughout his career, averaging 74.8 games per season.
Since 2016-2017, Ovi has averaged 42.43 goals per season and 72.5 games per season. Ovechkin has scored over 40 goals in 13 of his 18 NHL seasons. This includes the compromised 2020-21 season, averaging 0.53 goals per game (24 goals in 45 games).
Record Holder Supreme
Ovechkin is already an NHL stats record holder, with 25 league records he holds or shares, including having the most Maurice Richard Trophies (9) and being the first player to win the Art Ross, Maurice Richard, Lester B. Pearson, and Hart Memorial trophies in 2007-08.
Why Ovechkin Will Need A 20th Season to Break Gretzky’s Record
Taking the longer view of the GR8 Chase of Gretzky’s record of 894 career goals, Ovechkin should be closer to Gretzky’s record entering his 19th season, to no fault of Ovechkin.
As the consensus number-one pick and future franchise cornerstone in the 2004 NHL entry draft, Ovechkin was going to enter the NHL that was emerging for a low-scoring, grinding style of hockey, leaning into the high-speed, high-skilled, and high-scoring action that we have seen explode in the 21st Century.
However, Ovechkin’s rookie season didn’t happen in 2004-05, joining the league with his career rival and a generational talent, Sidney Crosby, in 2005-06.
Ovechkin’s Remarkable Goal-Per-Game Ratio
Ovechkin’s 18-year-old rookie season was lost to the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Considering Ovechkin scored 52 goals in his rookie season, you can safely add at least another 40 goals to Ovechkin’s 822 career goals as he would have another season under his belt.
Ovechkin lost more career games to the Covid-19 pandemic, which ended the 2019-2020 season on May 22nd, 2020, and led to the 2020-2021 season only being scheduled for 56 games. In this period, Ovi scored 72 goals in 113 games (.64 goals per game).
If Ovechkin had to play 77 games in both seasons, he would have averaged 49.28 goals per season, adding another 26.5 goals to his total.
Ovechkin’s Quest for Gretzky’s Record Hindered
Essentially, without the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2004-2005 pandemic, Ovechkin would be knocking on the doorstep of Gretzky’s record this season. However, Ovechkin needs 72 goals to tie Wayne Gretzky’s record, something he will not do in the 2022-2023 season.
Fortunately, Ovechkin is likely to score 35-40 goals per year despite his age increasing and career closing: Ovechkin’s now legendary and trademark one-timer from the face-off circle on the powerplay has more potency in a more offensive league, where teams routinely convert at over 20% on the powerplay.
When the Alex Ovechkin prop bets for the GR8 Chase in 2023-24 are released, pick no, but make sure to pick yes in 2024-25.