Will Ovechkin Overtake Gretzky?

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ended the 2022-23 as the second-highest goal-scorer in the history of the National Hockey League. His 42-goal tally during the campaign moved him on to 822 career goals, making him just the third player to break through the 800-goal barrier.

Ovechkin now trails legendary forward Wayne Gretzky by 72 goals and will overtake during the 2024-25 season if he maintains his current scoring rate.

However, the Russian superstar will need to avoid injury if he is to get the job done, which may be tricky now he is in the latter stages of his career.

Given Ovechkin's penchant for hitting the back of the net, the sports betting odds on him achieving the feat will be pretty skinny.

He did manage to break one Gretzky record this season, with his 40th goal on March 21, marking the 13th time he had hit that tally during his career.

The 37-year-old seems destined to take Gretzky's iconic goalscoring record off him and many respected pundits believe he will overhaul the Canadian.

They include former NHL star Brett Hull, who is fifth on the all-time scorers list behind Gretzky, Ovechkin, Gordie Howe, and Jaromir Jagr.

Hull recently told Betway he believes it is a massive achievement for Ovechkin to even be threatening Gretzky's record and tipped him to set a new mark.

'"It's incredible because I got 741 goals myself and I don't think I could have scored another goal," Hull said.

'"I thought that was about as close as anyone could get to Gordie Howe with 801 and Wayne way up with 894. In all seriousness, 80 goals for him is two seasons, and he's got plenty of life left in him.

'"So, unless something happens, he looks unstoppable to catch Wayne's goal record, although that'll be the only record of Wayne's which will ever be broken because all the other ones are crazy.

Ovechkin's scoring exploits have cemented his status as an NHL legend, regardless of whether he knocks Gretzky off top spot in the goals chart. He has now scored at least 30 goals in every season of his career with exception being the shortened 2020/21 campaign where bagged 24 in 45 games.

Ovechkin demonstrated his scoring talent during his rookie season, netting 52 goals to finish just four adrift of Cheechoo for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy.

He has since won that award on nine occasions -- no other player has claimed the prize more than twice during their respective careers.

Hull says Ovechkin has been "incredible" to watch during his time in the NHL and would fully deserve to overtake Gretzky's record.

'"You look at other sports and usually consistency is a guy getting 20 or 25 goals for six or seven seasons," Hull added.

'"Well, this guy's been getting 50 goals for 18 years. It's incredible. He's a marvel to watch. He's never changed the way he's played. He's a beast out there. No one can shoot harder. But you still can't stop him after all these years. He is a freak of nature and I have really enjoyed watching him."

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