When will Alexander Ovechkin surpass Wayne Gretzky? Live tracker and predictions

The Great Eight Experess is chugging along toward NHL history.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals / G Fiume/GettyImages

With two goals last night in their win over the Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin needs 51 to tie and 52 to surpass Wayne Gretzky for number one all time in goals scored in NHL history. The countdown is on here at Stars and Sticks.

Ovechkin's first goal was his 20th of the season which marked his 19th consecutive year with at least 20 goals, joining him with just Gordie Howe (22) and Brendan Shannahan (also 19 consecutive seasons). His second helped the Caps get back in a playoff spot with 15 games to play. Now they're back home.

For this exercise since we have 51 goals to go at the start of this, we're going to repost the two goals he had in Calgary. Once that is done myself and CJ will give our predictions and a brief summary as to when and not if Ovechkin will achieve the feat.

In between all that we'll have his best goals. Your favorites. CJ's favorites. And my favorites. We'll keep adding along as the great eight gets closer so keep checking back as we celebrate as a hockey community this incredible and once in a generation and possibly lifetime milestone.

Before we get to our predictions here's flashbacks of Ovechkin's first goal, his 500th, his 700th, and 802nd. We'll keep adding for fun as we get along.

Michael: Prediction early 2025-26 season

""Ovechkin needs to average 25 goals the next two seasons which is how much is left under his contract. That is very doable and if he can reach at least 30 goals next season he'll be in the drivers seat to pass Gretzky before Thanksgiving break the following season. Jack Hughes once said folks pay to watch him play. Around here in the DMV we pay to watch the great eight play and for good reason." "


CJ: Prediction around American Thanksgiving 2025-26

""If Ovechkin ends this season at 28-30 goals at seasons end he'll need 42-44 to catch Gretzky. I think it's unrealistic to expect him at 39 years old to get that many goals next season which unfortunately means we have to wait until the 2025-26 season, that also being his last season under his current contract. I'm guessing maybe somewhere around American Thanksgiving 2025 but he is Ovechkin. He's proven for nearly 20 years he is some kind of weird goal scoring mutant. If he can get 40 plus at age 39 it shouldn't surprise anyone either.""


This post will update after each Ovechkin goal moving forward. Stay tuned and follow along in the Gr8 Chase!


Update 3/20/24: Well that didn't take long as Ovechkin scored the 844th and 845th goals of his career in a 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The first goal was a PPG from the office.

That goal came in the 2nd period. This next one came in the thrid on an even strength snipe from the office to put him at 49 away from tying Gretzky.

Updated 3/22: Ovechkin struck again in tonight's 7-6 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes. This one came on the power play for his 846th goal of his career and 24th of the season, putting him 48 away from tying Gretzky.

Updated 3/25/24: In yesterday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, Alex Ovechkin added not one but TWO third period goals as the Caps would win 3-0.

Ovechkin has up to this point eight goals in his last five games.

Updated 4/5/24: In last night's 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin was the lone Capital who scored and it was a PPG. It was his 27th goal of the season and 849th of his career to put him 45 away from tying Gretzky.

7:36 p.m. Less than 24 hours later with the Caps in Carolina, Ovi struck for the 850th of his career. Now he needs 45 to pass Gretzky.

8:05 p.m.: He did it again in the McNugget Minute for 851.

Updated 4/9 at 9 p.m.: Ovi is now the ONLY player in NHL hisotry to record the most 30 goal seasons. Caps currenlty lead the Red Wings in a game with playoff implications.