Alex Ovechkin, the ever-resilient Russian professional Ice Hockey player, is one player whose unique skills and talents has contributed in a remarkable fashion to the advancement of hockey in the National Hockey League (NHL). Born into a family where sports was a major hallmark of success, Ovechkin lived up to his family’s legacy by advancing to the pinnacle of hockey worldwide. The NHL, undoubtedly the powerhouse of hockey, speaks of great diversity and unique prowess. Over the years, fans have been delighted and thrilled to see some of the best in the game grace the ice of the NHL. That trend has continued down to the day. We provide detailed piece into the rise of Alex Ovechkin in his biography facts, childhood, career and personal life.
Alex Ovechkin’s Biography Facts
|Full Name:||Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin|
|Nickname:||Alexander the Great, Ovie, O, Ovi, Alexander the Great, The Great Eight, Ov8chkin|
|Born:||September 17, 1985 (age 33)|
|Place of Birth:||Moscow, Russia|
|Occupation:||Ice Hockey Player|
|NHL Draft:||2004 (1st overall pick) Washington Capitals|
|Current Team:||Washington Capitals|
|Net Worth:||$60 million|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in|
|Weight:||236 lb (107 kg)|
|Parents:||Mikhail Ovechkin (father) Tatyana Ovechkina (mother)|
|Siblings:||Sergei Ovechkin (brother); Mikhael Ovechkin (brother)|
|Children:||Sergei Ovechkin (b. 2018)|
Alex Ovechkin’s Childhood & Early Life
Ovechkin was the youngest of three boys born to Soviet athletes. His athletics parents recall Ovechkin was a very active child at a tender age. His mother, a two-time basketball Olympics medalist knew Ovechkin was destined for ‘sporting greatness’. Ovechkin cultivated an interest in hockey at a very tender age, he loved watching hockey games, always protesting whenever his parents tried to switch the channel.
Ovechkin attended a public school, #596. His school had a reputation for its military discipline as well as a tyrannical principal. After spending 8 grades at his school, Ovechkin began attending Dynamo Moscow’s sports school. Ovechkin was committed to his training, attending every session while his friends were into drugs. According to Ovechkin during his early training, “You dive into sports with your head and arms and legs, and there’s no time for anything else”. His elder brother made sure Ovechkin attended his training session whenever his parents couldn’t take him.
Ovechkin experienced the tragic pain of death when he was 10. His elder brother was involved in a car accident, which led to a blood clot that killed him. The very next day after his brother’s death, Ovechkin had a match to play. His parents encouraged him to play. Ovechkin signature celebration whenever he scores, kissing his glove and pointing to the sky, is a tribute to his elder brother who introduced him to hockey.
Alex Ovechkin’s Professional Career
Dynamo Moscow (2001–2004 )
At the age of 16, Ovechkin began playing professionally for Dynamo Moscow. At Dynamo Moscow Ovechkin is known for breaking Pavel Bure’s record of 53 goals, when he recorded 56 at the age of 11. Ovechkin nursed the dream of playing in the NHL, he kept cards of NHL stars, especially his idol Mario Lemieux. He gained international acclaim when he became the youngest player in the Russian National side at the age of 17.
After spending three years at Moscow, Ovechkin began his journey to the realisation of his childhood dream of playing in the NHL.
He was drafted in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft as the first overall pick by the Washington Capitals. Prior to the 2004 NHL draft, the Florida Panthers tried to pick Ovechkin as its ninth overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, even though Ovechkin was not up to the age limit. As a result of the 2004/05 NHL lockout season, Ovechkin stayed at Moscow for another season. That season, Ovechkin recorded 27 points in 37 games. He was out of action for about two months as a result of an injury he sustained in the 2005 World Junior Championship. He returned back to action to help Moscow Dynamo claim the Russian Super League title.
Washington Capitals (2005–date)
The 2005/06 season seemed to be another lockout season, due to this, Ovechkin signed RSL team Avangard OMSK. The contract Ovechkin signed with Avangard contained an out clause with a deadline set for 20, July 2005. Though the NHL players and franchise owners had not settled their dispute, Ovechkin chose to cancel his contract with Avangard and signed a three-year contract with the Washington Capitals. His contract included an entry rookie maximum of $984,200 per season which could increase to as high as $3.9 million based on performance bonuses.
Two days after Ovechkin signed with the Washington Capitals, the dispute between the NHL players and franchise owners was settled with a new CBA signed. He debuted for the Washington Capitals on October 5, 2005, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ovechkin scored two goals in the Capitals 3-2 victory.
Ovechkin registered the first hat trick of his career on January 13, 2006. Three days after he earned his first hat trick, Ovechkin scored a goal which was referred to as “one of the greatest goals of all time” by Bill Clement, a veteran hockey reporter. Ovechkin had been knocked down by Paul Mara, a defenseman for the Pheonix Coyotes and was sliding on his back, Ovechkin’s back faced the net, but he managed to hook the puck with just one hand on his stick and slide it past the goalie. That goal which is referred to as ‘The goal’ was Ovechkin’s second on a very memorable night. That month, January 2006, Ovechkin was named NHL Rookie of the Month as well as Offensive Player of the month, making him the third player to receive the honours simultaneously. Ovechkin finished the 2005/06 season in a remarkable way. He led all the rookie in the NHL in goals, points, power-play goals and shots. He ranked third in the NHL scoring charts with 106 points. He tied for the third place in goals with 52 goals. He set an NHL rookie record for shots with 452 shots. He became the first Rookie in 15 years to be named to the NHL All-Star first team. He was then awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy, for being the NHL best rookie. He was made the cover of the NHL 07 by EA Sports. He also featured in the NHL All-Star game for the first time in his career.
In the 2007/08 season, Ovechkin signed a contract worth $124 million. His contract averaged $9.5 million per year. Ovechkin negotiated what became the richest contract in the NHL by himself. In March 2008, Ovechkin recorded his fourth career hat trick, hitting the 50-goal mark for the second time in his career. He led the NHL in points and goals. As a result, he earned the Art Ross Trophy and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Following the end of the regular season, Ovechkin helped the Capitals to the Stanley Cup playoffs but was eliminated in the first round. He was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Award by the National Hockey League Players’ Association as well as League MVP the Hart Memorial Trophy. He became the first NHL player to win all four major awards in a season. He also earned his third successive Kharlamov Trophy by Sovetsky Sport newspaper for being the best Russian NHL player.
In the 2008/09 season, Ovechkin won the Hart and Pearson trophies for the second successive time.
In the 2009/10 season, Ovechkin was involved in a collision with Raffi Torres of Columbus Blue Jackets. It was this suspended that made him lose $98,844.16 in salary. In January 2010 he was named the captain of the Capitals. He thus became the first European and second-youngest captain in the Washington Capital history. At the end of the season, he was awarded the Ted Lindsay Award. He was also named to the First Team All-Star becoming the NHL player to be voted in the First Team All-Star in 5 consecutive years.
During the 2012/13 lockout season, Ovechkin returned to the KHL where he played with the Dynamo. Following the end of the lockout and season, Ovechkin received his third Rocket Richard Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy. He also made a record by being named to the First and Second NHL All-Star Teams. The Capitals failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2013/14 season.
He registered 50+ goals in the 2015/16 to increase his 50+ season goals to 7. In January 2017, he became the 37th NHL player to record 1000 points in a team.
Ovechkin was considered to be the greatest NHL player never to have won a Stanley cup championship.
As a result, he changed his style of play in the 2017/18 season. That season, Ovechkin broke several NHL record. He further helped his team to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1988. The capitals went on to win the Stanley, while Ovechkin won the Conn Smythe trophy, as the tournament MVP.
In 2019, he was chosen as captain for the NHL All-Star game. Ovechkin decided to skip the match which caused him a one-game suspension.
Ovechkin has featured for the Russian National side since he was 16. The next year, he played in the EuroTour tournament and the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championships. He was named the captain of the Russian junior national side at age 18. He led his side to the IIHF World U20 Championship in 2003, where they won gold. He became the youngest player to feature in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Ovechkin has since then featured in the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Championships. The Russian national side won gold and silver in the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Championships respectively. He also participated in the 2010 and 2014 winter Olympics.
Alexander Ovechkin’s Personal Life
Ovechkin was once engaged to tennis player, Maria Kirilenko. The promising relationship came to an abrupt end in July 2014, when Maria Kirilenko declared that they were no longer together.
Soon after his cancelled engagement with Maria Kirilenko, Ovechkin found love again. This time with Nastya Shubskaya, daughter of late ace Russian actress, Vera Glagoleva. Ovechkin announced that they were engaged. They soon got married. Following his success in the 2018 Stanley Cup, Ovechkin announced that they were expecting their first child, who was given birth to in August 2018. The child was named after Ovechkin’s late elder brother, Sergei.
Ovechkin was involved in a feud with Evgeni Malkin, a Pittsburgh Penguins forward. The once good friends’ relationship turned sour after Ovechkin allegedly pushed Malkin’s agent. The feud started in August 2007, and ended in 2010, after fellow Russian national side teammate Ilya Kovalchuk mediated peace between both players.
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