Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL is goals this season. (James Guillory/USA Today Sports)

Garnering the most fan votes of any player in the Metropolitan Division, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin has been named a captain for the NHL All-Star Game in Tampa on Jan. 28. The All-Star Game format is a four-team three-on-three tournament; Ovechkin will captain the Metropolitan Division team. Nashville’s P.K. Subban, host Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid also were named captains.

This is the ninth time Ovechkin has been selected to the All-Star Game, and it’s certainly a deserved honor for the Capitals’ captain this season. He leads the NHL with 26 goals, is on pace for the eighth 50-goal season of his career and has averaged more than a point per game with 43 at the season’s midpoint of 41 games. That he has continued that production at 32 years old might be the most impressive feat.

“You keep producing and you keep doing what you’re doing at a high level, you’re going to get that respect,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday afternoon. “The longevity and the production, when those two things come together, that usually is called greatness.”

With his two goals in Tuesday night’s 5-4 overtime win at the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin became the fourth player in NHL history to score 25 or more goals in each of his first 13 seasons, joining Jaromir Jagr (17 seasons), Mike Gartner (15 seasons) and Wayne Gretzky (13 seasons). 

Since entering the NHL in the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin’s 584 goals are 188 more than Sidney Crosby’s 396, the second-highest total during that time frame. Ovechkin is also the first player in Washington franchise history to record 100 game-winning goals, making him one of just nine players in NHL history to reach the mark. Ovechkin sits two game-winning goals away from overtaking Jarome Iginla for sole possession of eighth place in NHL history.

Ovechkin’s game against the Hurricanes was his 962nd with the Capitals, passing Peter Bondra for the second-most games played in franchise history. He is in line to play his 1,000th game this season.

The rest of the All-Star Game roster will be announced next Wednesday, and Ovechkin likely won’t be Washington’s only all-star. Last year, he and goaltender Braden Holtby represented the Capitals in Los Angeles.

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