Why Alexander Ovechkin Will Break Wayne Gretzky’s NHL Goal Record
Wayne Gretzky played 20 amazing years in the NHL. The “Great One” holds or shares an incredible 61 records in the League’s Official Guide and Record Book.
Of the records, 40 are for the regular season, 15 reside in the Stanley Cup, and six came in the All-Star game. One of the most sought-after records is the all-time goals scored. Gretzky’s is 894 and is the highest of any player in NHL history.
That record is breakable and current NHL player, Alexander Ovechkin, has his eye on it. The top NHL betting sites have him listed as a +200 underdog to break the record (-300 to fail), and that gives NHL bettors something to chew on going into the new NHL season.
Ovechkin has played 16 years in the NHL with 730 goals scored. If you’re pondering betting on whether or not Alexander Ovechkin will break Wayne Gretzky’s goal record, consider the following.
Ovechkin Has Been Extremely Productive
Ovechkin will go down as one of the greatest NHL players ever when he decides to call it a career. Luckily, though, that shouldn’t be for another couple years at least. So far, his career has been filled with amazing years.
Ovechkin was the league’s leading scorer in nine of his 16 seasons (more than half his career), and goal scoring is his thing. Why wouldn’t he be the all-time record holder at the end of the day?
- Current Goals – 730
- Goals Needed – 165
He currently has 730 goals scored, which is only 164 away from Gretzky’s record and 165 from beating it.
Ovechkin’s best year, goal scoring-wise, came in 2007-08, when he scored a whopping 65 goals. That season, he tied Steve Yzerman (1988-89) for 23rd most goals scored in a single season. The top two best seasons in goals scored terms, are held by none other than… Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky scored an incredible 92 goals in the 1981-82 season and 87 in the 1983-84 season.
His Contract Sets Him Up for Success
Ovechkin recently agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Capitals, worth $47.5 million in total.
The five-year deal goes through the 2025-26 season, which would be Ovechkin’s 21st season in the NHL. If Ovechkin were to play all the way through this contract, it would be one more year than Gretzky’s career.
Ovechkin’s upcoming 2021-22 season will be his age 36 one. He started all the way back in 2005 at the raw age of 20.
There have been two shortened seasons in Ovechkin’s career, the recent COVID-19 year in 2020-21 and 2012-13, where the league had a 48-game schedule.
Besides those two seasons, Ovechkin has played a minimum of 68 games out of the full 82 in every season. He has played a full 82 games in four years, but also played 81 in three more seasons.
If it weren’t for the 2012-13 and 2020-21 seasons, Ovechkin would have an even better shot at beating Gretzky’s all-time goals scored record.
Ovechkin has already had an incredible career.
He is in the later parts of his career, entering his late 30s and the risk of missing games is even greater.
With that being said, Ovechkin has never been the type to miss a ton of games to injury. He is the ideal tough hockey player and that could be a huge reason why Ovechkin can break the record for all time goals scored.
If Ovechkin can play out the rest of his contract, he should be very close to beating the record at the age of 40.
Ovechkin’s Pace is Encouraging
Like I said, Ovechkin’s durability is a huge reason for him to beat Wayne Gretzky’s all-time NHL goal record.
But another huge reason why he can beat the record is because of his goals scored per season.
In his 16 seasons (all with the Capitals), he has scored 730 total goals. If you average that per season, that comes out to just over 45 per season. Also, if you take out the shortened seasons in 2012-13 and 2020-21, his average jumps to a little over 48 per season.
Strictly sticking to his averages, if he scored 48 per season for the next five years (the length of his contract), that would give him 240 more goals scored.
Now, it is important to note that as Ovechkin gets older, his play won’t be as good as he was in his prime.
If he were to beat the record by just one (165 more goals) then he would have to average 33 per season and play out the entirety of his current contract.
That is a very reachable number for Ovechkin, and it would allow him to average 15 less goals per season than he averaged in his entire career. That would also allow him to miss some more games as well as score less goals overall.
Should You Bet on Ovechkin to Break Gretzky’s Goal Record?
I’m a believer in Ovechkin. I believe this goal is very reachable for him and I bet he has it in mind as well with what the length of his contract indicates.
The averages allow him to score 15 less goals per season than he currently does, which really helps his chances in his older age.
If he had an extra drive to be the NHL record holder for goals scored (he likely does), then he could even sign an extra one or two year deal to break the record.
He could even join a non-competitive team that will give him some playing time to beat the record.
All things considered, the +200 price to see him do it is alluring for sports bettors.
These odds give you some profitable odds for something that seems doable for Ovechkin. Keep in mind you are going to have to wait a few years for the payout, but it could all be worth the wait.
Speaking of NHL accomplishments, who will win the Harty Trophy in 2021-22? Check out the odds and top contenders below.