Will Alex Ovechkin Pass Wayne Gretzky’s Career Goal Record?

Will Alex Ovechkin Pass Wayne Gretzky’s Career Goal Record?
By Cecil Peters
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Alex Ovechkin became the third player in NHL history to reach the 800-career goal milestone on Tuesday night in Chicago, and he did it in a way only he could. Ovechkin entered the game three goals away from 800 and tallied a hat trick to hit it on the number.

The 800th goal made history as only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe previously had reached that number. Howe’s final total was 801, a number Ovechkin should easily reach and surpass in the coming days.

In fact, Ovechkin’s Capitals host the Dallas Stars tonight. It won’t be the first time someone made money on Ovechkin in Virginia sports betting.

The Stars are a -120 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Virginia Sportsbook.

At the Summit, the Great One

With Ovechkin taking sole possession of second all-time in goals seeming to be a mere formality, the conversation around him now turns to the number 894. That is the amount of NHL goals scored by The Great One, and is the number most fans are keenly aware of when it comes to goal-scoring prowess.

Five or six years ago the idea of Ovechkin - or anyone, for that matter - breaking that record seemed unthinkable. But now Ovechkin is clearly within striking distance of the milestone, thanks to his unnatural ability to defy Father Time, at least in terms of his abilities to score goals and stay healthy.

While other players, including Gretzky, saw their goal-scoring pace slow significantly after the age of 30, Ovechkin has continued to pile up the goals. He has scored at least 48 in his past four full seasons. In fact, it took Gretzky 231 games after scoring his 700th goal to tally his 800th. Ovechkin accomplished the feat in only 162, continuing to score at the pace of a much younger star.

This ability to defy the standard aging curve has set Ovechkin up nicely to pass Gretzky’s total in the coming season. The question seems not to be if Ovechkin will hit 894, but when?

Breaking Down Ovechkin’s Chances

Projected Goals After SeasonCareer Goal RateProjected Age to Break Record?
48 goals0.612%39 (2024-25 season)

BetVirginia.com utilized Hockey-Reference.com to analyze his goal rate, shooting rate and games played percentage to project just when he might pass The Great One.

Ovechkin projects to score 48 goals this season, leaving him 66 short of the record. With his career high for goals in a season being 65, expecting him to pass the record at some point next season seems out of the question.

If Ovechkin can keep up the same pace, he would just need 33.5 goals over the next two seasons based on projections. Even if his goal rate and games played per year drops, he would likely still have an amazing shot at hitting it two seasons from now.

Ovechkin projects to hit 894 goals decently early in the 2024-25 season, likely at the age of 39. As with any athlete in any professional sport, nothing is a guarantee. Ovechkin’s ability to stay healthy has been huge for him in this chase and will need to continue.

His talent for scoring goals has not wavered one bit, evidenced by the consistency in the games it takes him to jump from one 100-goal milestone to another. He always managing to accomplish the feat in a similar number of games. In fact, it took him less games to jump from 700 goals to 800 than it did for him to jump from 200-300, 300-400 and 400-500, signifying that he might even be stepping up his game as he ages.

Virginia sports apps no doubt will be taking that consistency into account in setting any Ovechkin odds in the future.

With all of this noted, it should come to the surprise of no one when Alexander Ovechkin stands atop the NHL goal scoring landscape before he even reaches age 40.

BetVirginia.com will be here keeping an eye on Ovechkin’s chase and all pertinent sports betting news. The site also is a great source for Virginia sportsbook promos.

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Contributors

Cecil Peters is a Senior Betting Analyst for BetVirginia.com. A professional sports bettor in Canada, Cecil specializes in analyzing the latest odds impacting professional sports teams not just in Canada, but across the U.S.

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