Alexander Ovechkin was born September 17, 1985 in Moscow, Russia. The first round, first overall selection of the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Ovechkin honed his skills with Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Elite League before making his North American and NHL debut in 2005-06.
Ovechkin, whose mother was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball (1976 and 1980) and father was a professional soccer player, is a highly skilled forward who has blazing speed and does not shy away from the rough stuff.
In 2005-06 Ovechkin made his NHL debut with the Caps, leading his team and all league rookies in goals 52 and points 106 while capturing the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. He continued on a torrent scoring pace in 2006-07, tallying 46 goals and 46 assists for 92 points. He was awarded the Valeri Kharlamov Trophy, an award honouring the best Russian NHL player as voted by Russian NHL players, for his outstanding sophomore season in Washington.
In just his third season in the NHL, Alex Ovechkin notched a remarkable 65 goals and in doing so became the first NHL player to record 60 goals in a season since 1996. His 112 points through 82 games of the Capitals regular season earned his club its first playoff appearance since 2003. Although the Caps were eliminated in the first round of the NHL playoffs, Ovechkin captured the Lester B. Pearson Award, Hart Memorial Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, and Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy.
In 2008-09, Ovechkin became the first back-to-back winner of the Hart Trophy since Dominik Hasek accomplished the feat in 1997 and 1998, and the first forward to do so since Wayne Gretzky was named MVP from 1980-87. Ovechkin continued his dominance by also capturing his second consecutive Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer with 56 goals. Alex was also the recipient of the Pearson Award and a 1st Team All-Star, making him only the second player in league history to be named a 1st Team All-Star in each of his first four seasons.
After a slow start to the year, Ovechkin went on a tear in the second-half of the season, finishing the year with a league-high 56 goals and 110 points, second best in the league. Spending more time on the ice per game than any other forward (23:00) allowed him to also finish 2nd in power play goals (19), while tying for 3rd in both game winning goals (10) and overtime goals (2). As usual, the 1st Team All-Star's shot total was well beyond any other player, finishing 156 shots ahead of Eric Staal.
On January 5, 2010, Ovechkin was named captain of the Capitals when Chris Clark was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alex became the second youngest and 14th overall captain in team history.
On February 5, 2010, in a game against the New York Rangers, Ovechkin reached the 500-point milestone in just his fifth NHL season (373 games).
At the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Ovechkin was part of the Russian squad that finished in a disappointing sixth place, though the 2009-10 NHL regular season would be anything but disappointing. Ovechkin helped lead the Capitals to the best record in the NHL, winning the President's Trophy for their efforts. In addition, Alex reached the 50-mark and 100-point plateau for the third straight season.
Ovechkin's goal totals would dip during the 2010-11 season. Though he still managed to notch 32, it was the lowest output to that point of his high-scoring career. In 2011-12 Ovechkin would improve to 38 goals, ranking him as the NHL's fifth highest goal-scorer for the year.
With the NHL locked out to start the 2012-13 season, Ovechkin would return to Russian to join Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. In 31 games for the club he would record an impressive 40 points, including 19 goals.
When play resumed at the NHL level, Ovechkin's game was in full stride. In 48 games for the Capitals, he would record an NHL-best 32 goals, becoming the first three-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy of his career.
Ovechkin would continue the prodigious scoring pace into the 2013-14 season. In 77 games he would record 51 goals. It was the fifth time he had reached the 50 goal mark and was once again a league-best, making him the first four-time winner of the "Rocket" Richard Trophy.
On the international stage, Ovechkin and his countrymen rebounded from a disappointing 2014 Olympic Winter Games(held on home soil) to capture the 2014 World Championship. The win was the third of Ovechkin's career, having won previously in 2012 and 2008.