Alex Ovechkin has earned his reputation as one of the best pure goal-scorers in NHL history. His elite performance during his 11 seasons, all with the Washington Capitals, has made him a generational talent.
The 30-year-old Russian forward is a seven-time First-Team All-Star, the 2006 Calder Trophy winner, a three-time Hart Trophy winner, a five-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner, a two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, and a three-time Ted Lindsay Award winner.
Check out photos of key moments from the career of Alex Ovechkin, who became the 43rd player in NHL history to score 500 goals.
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY ›
He’s now the 43rd player in NHL history to score 500 goals. Here's a look at some of the most important dates in Ovechkin's career:
June 26, 2004: The Capitals select Ovechkin with the first pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.
Oct. 5, 2005: Ovechkin makes his NHL debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He scores two goals in a 3-2 win.
Jan. 13, 2006: Ovechkin gets his first NHL hat trick in his 43rd game, scoring all of Washington’s goals in a 3-2 overtime win at the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Jan. 15, 2006: In one of the defining plays of his NHL career, Ovechkin scores a spectacular third-period goal after falling down and sliding on his back in a 6-1 win at the Phoenix Coyotes.
Feb 15, 2006: Ovechkin plays his first game for Russia at the 2006 Torino Olympics.
April 13, 2006: Ovechkin scores in the first period of a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, becoming the fourth rookie in NHL history to get 50 goals in a season. He joins Teemu Selanne (76, 1992-93 season), Mike Bossy (53, 1977-78) and Joe Nieuwendyk (52, 1987-88). Ovechkin finishes with 106 points (52 goals, 54 assists) in 81 games.
June 22, 2006: Ovechkin wins the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
Oct. 12, 2007: Ovechkin scores his 100th NHL goal in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
March 21, 2008: Ovechkin becomes the 19th player in NHL history to have a 60-goal season when he scores a third-period goal in a 5-3 win against the Thrashers.
April 11, 2008: In his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, Ovechkin has a goal and an assist in a 5-4 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Capitals lose the best-of-7 series 4-3.
June 12, 2008: The "Great 8" cleans up at the 2008 NHL Awards. After finishing the 2007-08 season with 112 points (65 goals, 47 assists), Ovechkin wins the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer, the Rocket Richard Trophy as the leading goal-scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players’ Association. He is the first player to win all four awards in the same season.
May 4, 2009: In a second-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals win Game 2, 4-3. Ovechkin and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby each have a hat trick. However, Washington loses the series in seven games.
June 18, 2009: Ovechkin becomes the 17th player in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy twice, and the 10th player to win the award in consecutive seasons.
June 14, 2013: After finishing the 2012-13 season with 56 points (32 goals, 24 assists) in 48 games, Ovechkin becomes the eighth player in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy three times.
Sept. 29, 2013: Less than five months before the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Ovechkin carries the Olympic torch. He tweeted: "So sick!!!!!!! best moment in my life!!! thx @cocacola and Sochi 2014 !!!!" with a picture of him carrying the torch.
Dec. 20, 2013: Ovechkin becomes the 89th NHL player to score 400 goals. He is the sixth-fastest to do so, trailing Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Jari Kurri.
Feb. 13, 2014: The 2014 Sochi Olympics begin in Ovechkin's native country. In the first Group A game, Ovechkin has a goal and an assist, and Russia defeats Slovenia 5-2. Russia finishes 2-1-1 and is eliminated in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 loss to Finland.
Feb. 1, 2015: With a first-period, power-play goal in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Ovechkin reaches 30 goals for the 10th consecutive season. He becomes the fifth NHL player to accomplish that feat, joining Bossy, Gretzky, Kurri and Mike Gartner.
June 24, 2015: Ovechkin accepts his fifth Rocket Richard Trophy at the 2015 NHL Awards. He is the fifth player to lead the League in goals outright at least five times, joining Gretzky and Gordie Howe (five times each), and Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito (six times), with Hull tying for the League lead on a seventh occasion.
Nov. 20, 2015: With his 484th NHL goal, Ovechkin passes Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian-born player. It took Fedorov 1,248 games to set that record; Ovechkin broke it in 777.
Jan. 10, 2016: Ovechkin becomes the 43rd player to score 500 NHL goals with a power-play goal against the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center.