Gr8 Endurance: Alex Ovechkin’s Longevity In comparison with His Friends – 2022-23 Preseason Version

September 17, 2022

Photograph: Getty Photos (vis TSN)

The 2022-23 season will likely be Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin’s 18th season within the Nationwide Hockey League (NHL). And even now, as he turns 37, a comparatively superior age (in hockey participant phrases), it’s nonetheless not unreasonable to anticipate him to attain a excessive variety of objectives and probably once more be in rivalry for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.

The previous first total decide scored 50 objectives in 2021-22 which was his seventeenth consecutive yr of topping 20 objectives, his ninth season of scoring at the least 50 objectives, his 12th season of scoring at the least 40 objectives, and his 16th of scoring at the least 30 objectives.

Ovechkin’s productiveness and longevity are particularly excellent when in comparison with his friends, whether or not these born in his start yr (1985) or within the start years adjoining (1984 and 1986).

A breakdown is as follows:

Comparability to Different Gamers Born in 1985

Simply 17 gamers born in 1985 performed within the NHL throughout 2021-22, out of 141 gamers born that yr who’ve performed within the NHL. Two of them, Ryan Getzlaf and Carter Hutton, introduced their retirements, which reduces the variety of lively gamers to fifteen.

Three extra, Loui Eriksson, Brad Richardson, and Jay Beagle, are nonetheless unrestricted free brokers, as of this writing. Beagle is considering retirement. The rumor is that Eriksson will proceed his profession abroad, vacation spot unknown. Richardson’s efficiency has drastically declined and can seemingly not have the ability to discover an NHL job.

The remaining eleven gamers, apart from Ovechkin, who’re anticipated to be lively in 2022-23 are:

  • Ryan Suter (Dallas Stars),
  • Brent Burns (Carolina Hurricanes),
  • Paul Stastny (Carolina Hurricanes),
  • Corey Perry (Tampa Bay Lightning),
  • Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins),
  • Jeff Carter (Pittsburgh Penguins),
  • Andrew Ladd (Arizona Coyotes),
  • Alex Goligoski (Minnesota Wild),
  • Jaroslav Halak (Vancouver Canucks),
  • Brian Elliott (Philadelphia Flyers), and
  • Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Tampa Bay Lightning).
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In breaking down the gamers lively in 2021-22 born in 1985 by draft class, ten had been drafted in 2003, three had been drafted in 2004 (Ovechkin, Ladd, and Goligoski), one was drafted in 2005 (Stastny), and three weren’t drafted (Beagle, Bellemare, and Hutton)

Ovechkin, who has performed in 1274 NHL profession video games, ranks a really shut second place to Ryan Sutter, who performed in 1280. He, overwhelmingly, has essentially the most profession objectives with 780.

Final season, he had essentially the most objectives for a participant born in 1985 with 50. After that had been Patrice Bergeron (25), Paul Stastny (21), Jeff Carter (19), and Corey Perry (19). He additionally has a commanding lead in whole factors, with 1419. Ryan Getzlaf, who not too long ago retired, ranks second in profession factors. Ovechkin is second in assists with 630, solely to Ryan Getzlaf who’s a middle and facilities have a tendency to provide extra assists than wingers by their function.

Comparability to Gamers From Adjoining Beginning Years

Ovechkin’s consistency and endurance may also be in contrast in opposition to gamers within the start years adjoining to his; i.e. 1984 and 1986.


Simply six gamers born in 1984 performed within the NHL in 2021-22, out of 143 gamers born that yr. Amongst these six, Dustin Brown introduced his retirement, Nate Thompson signed a Participant Tryout Contract (PTO) with the Los Angeles Kings, and Brian Boyle stays unsigned. Eric Staal, additionally born in 1984, has not formally retired as a participant however performed no NHL video games in 2021-22 and signed a PTO with the Florida Panthers.

Photograph: NHL

The remaining gamers born in 1984 who’re underneath contract are Joe Pavelski (Dallas Stars), Zach Parise (New York Islanders), and Marc-Andre Fleury (Minnesota Wild). If Staal, Boyle, and Thompson don’t play within the NHL in 2022-23, meaning simply three gamers born in 1984 stay within the NHL.

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The best purpose scorers in the course of the 2021-22 season amongst these born in 1984 had been Pavelski (27), Zach Parise (15), and Brian Boyle (11). The overwhelming chief in assists was Pavelski (54). The leaders in factors had been Pavelski (70) and Parise (35). Pavelski is at present the one skater born in 1984 who carried out wherever nearer to his peak.

In evaluating Ovechkin’s profession statistics with gamers born in 1984, he has extra objectives, assists, and factors than any of them.


Of the 138 NHL gamers born in 1986, simply 15 of them performed within the NHL throughout 2021-22. These gamers had been Keith Yandle (Philadelphia Flyers), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Alexander Edler (Los Angeles Kings), Blake Comeau (Dallas Stars), Anton Stralman (Florida Panthers), T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals), Andrej Sekera (Dallas Stars), Tyler Bozak (St. Louis Blues), Jonathan Fast (Los Angeles Kings), Alexander Radulov (Dallas Stars), Derek Ryan (Edmonton Oilers), Thomas Greiss (Detroit Pink Wings), and Anton Khudobin (Dallas Stars).

Amongst these 15, Radulov signed a contract with the KHL and Sekera introduced his retirement. Yandle, Comeau, Stralman, Bozak, and Corey Schneider are nonetheless unrestricted free brokers. Because the efficiency of all 5 of these free brokers has drastically declined from their peak, their NHL careers are seemingly over.  The variety of lively gamers born in 1986 who will play within the NHL in 2022-23 could possibly be as few as eight however could be 13, at most.

In breaking down the 1986-born gamers who performed in 2021-22 by draft class, ten had been drafted in 2004, 4 had been drafted in 2005 (Yandle, Stralman, Oshie, and Fast), and two had been undrafted (Bozak and Ryan).

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Photograph: NHL

Regardless of being bothered by a knee harm, Malkin continues to be thought of an vital participant with the Penguins. He scored 20 objectives and recorded 22 assists throughout a season the place he missed almost half the video games. Blake Wheeler and T.J. Oshie are nonetheless productive purpose scorers, as Wheeler scored 17 objectives and Oshie scored 11 objectives throughout a yr he missed almost half the season.

Ovechkin has extra objectives and factors than any of the gamers born in 1986. The one participant from that start yr with extra assists is Evgeni Malkin who has 602 assists and is a middle, like Getzlaf.


When one appears at his productiveness and sturdiness over the 17 full seasons of his profession, it’s simple to see why Ovechkin’s longevity in comparison with that of lots of the gamers who got here into the league alongside him is so spectacular. In a league as troublesome to endure because the NHL, The Nice Eight continues to plow forward.

(Information was obtained from the Quant Hockey, Hockey Reference, Stat Head, and NHL websites.)

By Diane Doyle

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