Washington, D.C. – June 26, 2006 –
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin
has been nominated for two ESPY Awards – Best Breakthrough Athlete and Best NHL Player – the winners of which will be determined by fan voting that opened today at www.espn.go.com/espy2006
. Only six athletes have more nominations than Ovechkin, who is the only hockey player with the chance to win more than one award.
The 2006 ESPYs will celebrate the top moments, most emotional stories and best performances of the past year in sports. The event will be held on Wednesday, July 12, at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles and will be hosted by cyclist Lance Armstrong. ESPN will televise the 14th annual awards show on Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET.
Ovechkin, a 20-year-old native of Moscow, Russia, finished the season as just the second NHL rookie in the league’s 89-year history to record 50 goals and 100 points, joining Teemu Selanne. He captured the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best rookie, was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team and to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He was also one of three finalists for the Lester B. Pearson Award, presented to the league’s best player as selected by his peers.
Ovechkin’s 52 goals and 106 points both ranked third all-time among NHL rookies. He set Capitals rookie records for goals, assists (54), points, power-play goals (21) and shots (425). Ovechkin’s point total was the second best in Washington Capitals history and his goal total was tied for third in franchise history.
Ovechkin led all NHL rookies in goals, points, power-play goals and shots. He finished third overall in NHL scoring and tied for third in goals. His 425 shots not only led the league and set an NHL rookie record, but also was the fourth-highest total in NHL history.
Washington’s first-round choice in the 2004 Entry Draft (first overall), Ovechkin was the NHL’s Offensive Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month in January. He also earned NHL Rookie of the Month honors in December. He was an All-Tournament Team selection at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, where he starred for Russia. Numerous media outlets have recognized Ovechkin as their NHL rookie of the year, including XM Radio, The Hockey News, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News.