Alex Ovechkin entered the 2022-23 season with a shot at joining an elite club that only two NHL players are members of – the elite 800 club. With 780 career goals at the start of the season, he was just 20 away from joining Gordie Howe (801 goals) and Wayne Gretzky (894 goals) as the only players to ever do it.
On December 13th, Ovechkin was just three goals away from that mark when he entered a game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Just 24 seconds into the game, Ovechkin scored his first of the game and No. 798 of his career. Eight minutes later, he scored his second of the game and No. 799 of his career.
The second period saw his Washington Capitals score twice and he picked up an assist on one of them, but couldn’t get the hat trick. That is until seven minutes into the third period when he completed the hat trick and officially joined the 800 club. The Capitals won the game 7-3 and Ovechkin had four total points.
Who Might Join Alex Ovechkin in the Future?
Since joining the 800 club, Alex Ovechkin has added six more goals to his resume – including another hat trick on December 31st, ending the year on a high note. He now has 30 career hat tricks (6th-most all-time) and 806 career goals (2nd-most all-time) as he continues his climb towards Gretzky’s record.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen someone score at this rate for this long in his career – let’s not forget this is a player who scored 50 goals last year at the age of 36. With 26 goals in 39 games this season, he’s on his way to doing it again at 37 years old. What an incredible career for Alex Ovechkin.
It makes you wonder if there are any other NHL players that might one day join Alex Ovechkin in that elite 800 club. We see a lot of players put up a lot of goals every season, but it takes a special player to do that for nearly two decades. Let’s take a look at some of the players who will at least have a shot at doing it.
15. Jason Robertson
Jason Robertson is a 23-year-old left winger who currently plays for the Dallas Stars. He made his NHL debut during the 2019-20 season and has only played in 166 games over the past four seasons – but has already scored 83 goals. He’s coming off a career-high 41 goals last season and already has 25 this year.
Robertson is on track to score at least 50 goals this season, which is an incredible feat for someone who hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface in the NHL. Just taking a look at this season, he has five games with multiple goals and scored his third career hat-trick on December 1st – he had two of them last year.
14. Cole Caufield
Cole Caufield is a 22-year-old right winger who currently plays for the Montreal Canadiens. He made his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season and has only played in 114 games over the past three seasons – but already has 48 goals. He scored 23 in his first full NHL season last year and already has 21 this year.
Caufield is on track to score more than 40 goals this season and might even make a push for 50 if he has an even more impressive second half to the season. He already has five games with at least two goals so far this year, one of which came on December 31st – putting an end to what has been an incredible 2022.
13. Matty Beniers
Matty Beniers is a 20-year-old center who currently plays for the Seattle Kraken. He made his NHL debut during the 2021-22 season and has only played in 45 career NHL games – but has already scored 14 goals. He’s still young and it’s a small sample size, but all signs are pointing towards him being great.
Beniers has 11 goals in 35 games this season after scoring 3 goals in 10 games last season. He has built up a lot of confidence this year and it will only continue to build over the course of the next few months. He’ll need to have a breakout season next year and sustain it if he wants to join the elite 800 club.
12. Andrei Svechnikov
Andrei Svechnikov is a 22-year-old right winger who currently plays for the Carolina Hurricanes. He made his NHL debut during the 2018-19 season and has played in 320 career games over the past five seasons. With 19 goals in 37 games this year, he now has 108 goals scored over the course of his career.
Svechnikov is a gifted scorer who has scored at least 20 goals in three of his first four seasons and will likely make that four of his first five seasons very soon. He’ll need to increase that production if he wants to get anywhere close to the 800 club, but he’s one of the game’s most prolific and cheeky scorers today.
11. Tim Stützle
Tim Stützle is a 20-year-old left winger who currently plays for the Ottawa Senators. He made his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season and has played in 165 games over the past three seasons. He’s still finding his footing in the NHL, but already has 48 goals and is on his way to a career-high this year.
After scoring 22 goals last season, Stützle has 14 goals through 33 games this season and has been on a tear the past month – scoring six goals since December 2nd and four goals in his past four games. If he can keep up this level of play, he might make a push for 30 goals this year for the first time in his career.
10. Kirill Kaprizov
Kirill Kaprizov is a 25-year-old left winger who currently plays for the Minnesota Wild. He made his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season and has played in 172 games over the past three seasons. After scoring 27 goals as a rookie, he exploded with 47 goals last season and already has another 20 goals this year .
Kaprizov is one of the more exciting young players in the league and is known as a streaky player – he went on a seven-game goal streak earlier in the year. He has already proven he can score with the best of them. Now, he just needs to prove he can do that consistently over the next 15 seasons – at least.
9. Trevor Zegras
Trevor Zegras is a 21-year-old center who currently plays for the Anaheim Ducks. He made his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season and has shown glimpses of superstar ability in his 136 games played over the past three seasons. So far, he has scored 36 goals – but his production will continue to increase.
Zegas hasn’t scored as often as some of the other players on this list, but he scored his first goal at the age of 19 and has plenty of more career ahead of him. He surpassed the 20-goal mark last season, scoring 23 goals in 75 games, and already has 10 goals in 37 games this season. Still, we expect more.
8. Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes is a 21-year-old center who currently plays for the New Jersey Devils. He made his NHL debut during the 2019-20 season and has seen his production gradually increase in his 203 games played over the past four seasons. All in all, he’s already at 65 goals scored before turning 22 years old.
Hughes scored 7 goals as a rookie, but that production increased to 11 goals in 2020-21 before another career-high of 26 goals last season. He’s well on his way to another career mark with 21 goals in 37 games so far this season – on pace for more than 40 and might even be pushing 50 by season’s end.
7. Jack Eichel
Jack Eichel is a 26-year-old center who currently plays for the Las Vegas Golden Knights. He made his NHL debut during the 2015-16 season and scored consistently over the next five seasons with the Buffalo Sabres – totaling 137 goals during that time. Unfortunately, he has hit several roadblocks in his career.
He suffered an injury that kept him out a majority of the 2020-21 season, which ended up being his final season in Buffalo. He was traded to Vegas halfway through the 2021-22 season and scored 14 goals in 34 games with the Knights last year. He now has 13 goals in 27 games this season as he returns to form.
6. Leon Draisaitl
Leon Draisaitl is a 27-year-old center who currently plays for the Edmonton Oilers. He made his NHL debut during the 2014-15 season and has been one of the most consistent scorers in the NHL ever since. In fact, he’s coming off a career-high 55 goals last season – his second time scoring at least 50 goals.
He first scored 50 goals during the 2018-19 season and followed that up with 43 goals in 2019-20. He’s only 36 games into the 2022-23 season, but has already scored 21 goals and is on pace to crack 40 goals yet again. With 275 career goals, he’ll be pushing for No. 300 by the end of this season.
5. David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak is a 26-year-old right winger who currently plays for the Boston Bruins. He made his NHL debut during the 2014-15 regular season and has scored at least 30 goals in five of his first eight seasons in the league. His career-high was 48 goals, which he achieved in just 70 games in the 2019-20 season.
After just 20 goals in 48 games in the shortened 2020-21 season, Pastrnak returned to form with 40 goals last season. He already has 25 goals through 36 games this year and is currently on pace to surpass the 50-goal mark by season’s end – which would be the first time doing so in his nine-year career thus far.
4. Steven Stamkos
Steven Stamkos is a 32-year-old center who currently plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He made his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season and never seems to disappoint with his goal-scoring and playmaking abilities. He has led the league in goals scored twice, including 60 goals in 2011-12.
No one expects him to score 60 goals at the age of 32, but Alex Ovechkin has taught me not to doubt someone based on their age. After all, Stamkos is a player that put up 42 goals at 31 years old and put up 45 goals as recently as the 2018-19 season. He’s currently 302 goals away from joining the elite 800 club.
3. Nathan MacKinnon
Nathan MacKinnon is a 27-year-old center who currently plays for the Colorado Avalanche. He made his NHL debut during the 2013-14 regular season and scored 24 goals in his rookie year. He has consistently found the back of the net ever since and has scored at least 32 goals in four of the past five seasons.
MacKinnon only played in four games during the month of December, which is part of the reason why his numbers have taken such a big hit this season. Even then, he only has eight goals through 24 games and is on pace for his lowest mark since 2016-17 – not counting his 20 goals during the shortened 2020-21 season.
2. Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid is a 25-year-old center who currently plays for the Edmonton Oilers. He made his NHL debut during the 2015-16 season and has already racked up 271 goals in 525 games played over the past eight years. He currently leads the NHL with 32 goals in 38 games during the 2022-23 season.
With his 32 goals this year, McDavid has scored at least 30 goals in each of the past seven seasons – including at least 40 goals in three of those seasons. He’s one pace to surpass the 60-goal mark by season’s end and will likely continue this level of scoring for at least the next few seasons, if not more.
1. Auston Matthews
Auston Matthews is a 25-year-old center who currently plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He made his NHL debut during the 2016-17 season and has already scored a whopping 277 goals in just 444 games over the past seven seasons. He has led the entire league in scoring in each of the past two seasons.
With 101 goals over the past two years, Matthews has already added another 18 goals in 37 games this season. He’s not scoring as much as he has year’s past, but he’ll return to form soon enough. This is a player that has scored at least 34 goals every single year he’s been in the league – he’ll be back.
What’s Next for Alex Ovechkin?
Alex Ovechkin has already begun his climb towards the all-time record for goals – which is currently held by Wayne Gretzky at 894 career goals. At the rate Ovechkin has been scoring the puck, he very well could pass that mark by the end of next season, but he’ll likely need one more season after the next.
He, of course, has no shot at passing Gretzky’s record for most career points – which currently stands at 2,857 points (Ovechkin has a little more than half of that). Nonetheless, Alex Ovechkin will eventually retire as one of the greatest NHL players to ever grace the ice. He has always been a joy to watch.
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And while we listed a lot of incredible players above that will have impressive careers of their own, there’s a very good chance we don’t see any of them join the elite 800 club. It’s a club that only has three members for a reason – it’s not easy to get into and will only happen once every few decades (if that).
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