Washington Capitals: Top 10 best scorers of all-time

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
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#7 Bengt-Ake Gustafsson

Before there was Nicklas Backstrom, there was Swedish center Bengt-Ake Gustafsson who was an underrated player on some solid Washington Capitals teams from the 1980s. He was a superb skater and puck handler. He also had breakaway speed.

Gustafsson was drafted by the Capitals in the fourth round at 55th overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. There was talk that he could go to the Edmonton Oilers when the WHA merged with the NHL but the Caps reacquired him in a special reclaim draft.

Gustafsson’s best season came in 1983-84 when he scored a career high 32 goals and 75 points while playing on a line with Dave Christian and Mike Gartner. On Jan. 8, 1984 he had a five goal game which tied a club record for most goals in a game. Peter Bondra would accomplish the same feat about a decade later. In that game, Gustafsson scored on every shot he took.

Gustafsson spent nine seasons with the Caps skating in 629 games. He recorded 195 goals and 359 assists for 554 points before leaving the NHL to return to his home country of Sweden to finish out the rest of his playing career. Later on he would get into coaching and win an Olympic gold medal in 2006 with Sweden.