Alex Ovechkin Had 68 Shots At 90+ MPH This Season; The League Forward Average Is 1

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The NHL seems to have missed something else. 

Many of us frequently hear about how high-danger McDavid and Draisaitl are, how Stamkos and Kucherov are Tampa’s “double barrel” on the power play, or how Sidney Crosby’s minimally-curved stick gives him such a strong backhand shot. Even if you’re not a die-hard hockey fan, you’re probably somewhat familiar with each of these points. 

What’s less commonly discussed — especially after declining the All Star Weekend invitations in recent years — is the speed of Washington Capitals captain Ovechkin’s shots. Sure, it’s occasionally mentioned and no, I don’t think any skater on the ice is unaware that Ovi’s shots have broken Plexiglass before. 

How fast can Ovechkin shoot the puck?

But just how fast are Ovechkin’s shots, really? And how does that compare to the rest of the league? 

In the 2023-2024 regular season, Alex Ovechkin had 68 shots between 90-100 mph according to NHL Edge. The average number of shots 90-100 mph for other NHL forwards is 1. Yes, one. For the whole season.

While Ovi’s definitely blowing the competition away in terms of other forwards, he’s still right up at the top when compared to other (younger) players known for hard shots, regardless of position. Think of contestants in the NHL’s All Star Skills Hardest Shot Competition in years past: 25-year old Elias Pettersson, 34-year-old John Carlson, 31-year-old JT Miller, 27-year old David Pastrnak, 33-year-old Roman Josi and so on. Compared to them, Ovechkin still has 13 more 90+ mph shots. 

And of course, just because the comparison is irresistible, during this regular season 36-year-old Sidney Crosby had 2 shots over 90 mph. In addition, Ovi had a higher top shot speed (98mph) compared to Crosby (91mph). Two more things Ovi outranks Crosby on - doesn’t that make your day just a tiny bit brighter?

While Ovi’s shot numbers over 90 mph are quite staggering, it’s no surprise to Caps fans. We’ve seen Ovechkin break Plexiglass surrounding the rink before. We’ve seen him dent goalie masks before.

Even after 6,627 total career shots (per StatMuse), it doesn’t look like Ovechkin’s shot is getting any softer any time soon. Considering the amount of National attention the other faces of the League get, it does seem rather peculiar that Ovi having 68 times the League forward average of 90+ mph shots went unmentioned this year.