Washington Capitals Grades: Alex Ovechkin earns a high grade

The report card phase of the Washington Capitals offseason is in full swing. On day eight, we grade nonother than the Capitals captain, the great 8, Alex Ovechkin.

It’s not surprising how well Ovechkin performed in 2020-21. The future hall of famer continued to dominate the ice whenever he was in a pair of skates.

In a season that was filled with uncertainty from the the fallout of COVID-19, Ovechkin managed to stay focused and concentrate on making it back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Ovechkin just completed his 16th season with the Capitals. According to William Jones of HockeyAnswered.com, the average NHL player will play for 4.5-years, while the top 25% of athletes will play 12-years. Ovechkin surpassed both those stats by a large margin.

During the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin, 35, played in 45 games (season shortened to 56-games), scored 42 points, found the net 24 times and had nine of those coming on the power play.

Ovechkin’s regular season stats are impressive. But what is more astonishing are the records he broke and the all-time great lists he continued to climb.

Ovechkin moved up to No. 2 all-time in power play goals at 269. Only five behind former left winger Dave Andreychuk (274).

What is more incredible than that is the effort he continued to make at the all-time NHL goal leaders list.

Ovechkin entered the season with 706 goals (eighth all-time). In his 45 games played this season, he surpassed two hall of famers Mike Gartner (708) and Phil Esposito (717) to move into sixth all-time with 730 goals. Ovechkin currently sits just one shy of hall of famer Marcel Dionne (731).

Ovechkin is only 164 goals behind the great Wayne Gretzky (894) for most all-time. If he continues to score at the level he is doing, Ovechkin could pass Gretzky in three or four seasons.

Ovechkin is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.  His 13-year $124 million contract signed in January 2008 will expire. The future hall of famer will be pursued by many teams, but ultimately, he should return to the ice in a Capitals uniform.

Grade: A-: Overall, Ovechkin continued to dominate the ice like years past. While many believe his best hockey has gone, he is still a very valuable player in Washington. The Capitals would be foolish to not re-sign the future hall of famer.