- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 23, 2021

Alex Ovechkin is off to one of the best starts to a season in his illustrious career.

And one NHL legend has noticed.

Wayne Gretzky, speaking to David Waldstein of The New York Times last week, said he is Ovechkin’s “biggest fan” and weighed in on a hot topic — whether “The Great 8” will pass “The Great One” in career goals.

“It’s not even a question that he will pass me, and I think that’s great,” Gretzky said. “He’s well on his way to 40 or 50 goals this year, maybe more. There is no doubt that ultimately, he will break the record.”

The Capitals star currently ranks fourth all-time with 752 goals. He opened the season sixth but has since passed both ​​Marcel Dionne and Brett Hull. He’s 14 goals behind Jaromir Jagr, 49 away from Gordie Howe and 142 behind Gretzky.

This season, Ovechkin has 22 goals and 25 assists in 31 games. That puts him on pace for 58 goals and 66 assists in an 82-game season, which would be his second-highest goal total and best assist tally in his career. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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