Alex Ovechkin, best known for his incredible goal-scoring, is also one of the few superstars in the league that are a physical force. A lot of teams put enforcers in the lineup to protect their star players, just look at what the New York Rangers have done this off-season.
One of the many things that make Ovechkin unique is that he is his own enforcer. In a shortened season last year, Ovechkin laid 98 hits on his opponents, prior to that, he has never recorded fewer than 120 hits, which also came in a shortened season. For comparison’s sake, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ star Sidney Crosby has never dished out more than 90 hits in a season. Nikita Kucherov, another mega-talented Russian winger has never recorded more than 65 hits.
While their styles of play are obviously different, these players are similarly talented to Ovechkin and there is simply no competition when it comes to players of similar-talent from guys that are also not afraid to lay the body. Andrei Svechnikov of the Carolina Hurricanes is a big-bodied Russian star that is not afraid to play physically. Svechnikov has recorded at least 114 hits in each of his three seasons. While the potential to be a superstar is there, the young-Russian has never scored more than 24 goals in his career. Ovechkin on the other hand, has never scored less than 24 goals in a season. Ovechkin is once again, in a class of his own. Just take a look at some of these hits.