ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been nominated as one of three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," the National Hockey League announced today. Montreal’s Carey Price and the New York Islanders’ John Tavares have also been nominated.
Ovechkin scored 53 goals this season to capture his third consecutive and fifth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. This season marked the sixth time in Ovechkin’s 10 NHL seasons he has reached the 50-goal plateau (2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14, 2014-15). The Moscow native joins Mike Bossy (9), Wayne Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Mario Lemieux (6) as the only players in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other NHL players with more than one 50-goal season since Ovechkin entered the League in 2005-06 are Dany Heatley (2), Ilya Kovalchuk (2) and Steven Stamkos (2).
Ovechkin also led the NHL in power-play goals (25), game-winning goals (11) and shots (395) this season. His 25 power-play goals set a career high and franchise record and marked the most by any player in the NHL since Teemu Selanne scored 25 in 2006-07. This season marked the third consecutive season and fourth time in his career Ovechkin has led the NHL in power-play goals (2007-08, 2012-15). Ovechkin scored his 20th power play goal of the season on March 7 against Buffalo, marking the fourth time in his career he has scored 20 or more power play goals in a season. The only other players in NHL history with at least four 20-PPG seasons are Brett Hull (5), Mike Bossy (4), Phil Esposito (4), Tim Kerr (4) and Luc Robitaille (4).
Ovechkin recorded his 826th career point on Nov. 4 with an assist in the first period against Calgary, passing Peter Bondra (825) for first place on the Capitals’ franchise points list. Ovechkin reached the milestone in his 691st career game, 270 games faster than Bondra (961). On April 2 at Montreal, Ovechkin scored his 473rd career goal, passing Peter Bondra (472) for first place on the Capitals franchise goals list. Ovechkin scored his 472nd goal in his 755th career game, reaching the milestone in 206 games fewer than Bondra (961). Ovechkin now holds the Capitals franchise record in goals (475), points (895), power-play goals (176), game-winning goals (80), overtime goals (15), shots (3,830) and multi-goal games (100).
Ovechkin is a three-time Hart Trophy winner (2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13) and also was a finalist for the award in 2009-10. In 2009, Ovechkin became the first player in more than a decade to win consecutive Hart Trophies (Dominik Hasek, 1997-98) and the first non-goaltender to do so since Wayne Gretzky won eight in a row (1980-87). He became the third youngest player to win consecutive Hart Trophies, trailing only Gretzky and Bobby Orr.