Alexander Mikhailovich "Alex" Ovechkin is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League.
Ice Hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points.
The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League.
The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league composed of 31 member clubs: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada.
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Prior to entering the NHL, Ovechkin played for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for four seasons, from 2001 until 2005, and returned to play for them briefly during the 2012–13 NHL lockout.
The 2012–13 NHL lockout was a labour dispute between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association that began at 11:59 pm EDT on September 15, 2012.
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of the Russian Federation, with 12.2 million residents within the city limits and 16.8 million within the urban area.
The Russian Superleague, commonly abbreviated as RSL, was the highest division of the main professional ice hockey league in Russia.
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A highly touted prospect, Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
2004 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2004th year of the Common Era and Anno Domini designations, the 4th year of the 3rd millennium, the 4th year of the 21st century, and the 5th year of the 2000s decade.
The 2004 NHL Entry Draft was held on June 26 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
With the 2004–05 NHL lockout cancelling the season, Ovechkin remained in Russia until 2005, joining the Capitals for the 2005–06 season.
He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies with 106 points and finishing third overall in league scoring.
The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League."
Ovechkin has led the NHL in goal scoring, and won the Rocket Richard Trophy, six times in his career.
The Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, also known as the Maurice Richard Trophy, is awarded annually to the leading goal scorer in the National Hockey League.
He first did so in 2007–08 season, when he recorded 65 goals and 112 points.
He led the league in points, winning the Art Ross Trophy, and also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player and Lester B. Pearson Award as the best player as voted on by the NHL Players' Association.
The Ted Lindsay Award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, is awarded annually to the National Hockey League's most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHL Players Association.
Ovechkin would again win the Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in 2009, along with the Richard Trophy, and won the Ted Lindsay Award for a third consecutive year in 2010; it also marked the fifth straight year that he was named to the First All-Star Team.
After a couple years of decreased scoring, Ovechkin again led the league in goals, and earning the Richard Trophy, in 2013, again winning the Hart Trophy.
He would repeat as the Richard Trophy winner from 2014 to 2016, scoring at least 50 goals each season, becoming the first player to win the award six times, and the third to lead the NHL in goals that many times, as well as the third player to score 50 goals in a season seven times.
He marked 500 career NHL goals in the 2015–16 season and has also led the league in scoring for the past four years; as such, Ovechkin is considered by many to be one of the greatest goal scorers in the history of the NHL.
Internationally Ovechkin has represented Russia in multiple tournaments.
His first IIHF tournament was the 2002 World U18 Championship.
The following year he made his debut at the World Junior Championship, helping Russia win the gold medal.
He played two more years at the World Juniors, as well as once more at the World U18 Championships.
Ovechkin's first senior tournament was the 2004 World Championship, and he also played in the World Cup that year.
Ovechkin has also played for Russia at the Winter Olympics in 2006, 2010, and 2014.
The Winter Olympic Games is a major international sporting event that occurs once every four years.
Overall Ovechkin has represented Russia at eleven World Championships and three Olympics in his career, winning the World Championship three times.