For the 13th time in his career, Alex Ovechkin is an All-Star.
As part of the league’s new All-Star selection process, the NHL Hockey Operations Department assigned one representative for each of the 32 teams to participate in the festivities in Sunrise, Florida, on Feb. 3-4. The NHL announced Ovechkin as the Capitals’ representative during the first intermission of Thursday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ovechkin, 37, entered play Thursday tied with Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat for third in the NHL at 28 goals behind only Connor McDavid (33) and Tage Thompson (30). His overall points total of 47 was tied for eighth place on the NHL leaderboard. He also ranked among the top 10 in shots on goal (176, third), goals created (20.3, fifth) and hat tricks (two, second).
After missing last year’s All-Star Game due to a positive COVID-19 test, Ovechkin will have another chance to play on the national stage amid a season in which he’s continued his historic goal-scoring pace while moving into second place all-time.
Related: Alex Ovechkin goal tracker: Chasing Wayne Gretzky, highlights, videos
Fans will have the opportunity to vote more of Ovechkin’s teammates into the All-Star Game as part of the league’s new voting process, which will decide which players fill the remaining 12 slots on the 44-man roster.
Three players (two forwards and one goalie) from each division will be selected based on ballots submitted on the NHL website and votes cast on Twitter using the #NHLAllStarVote. Any tweet that includes a player’s full name and the hashtag will count as a vote. The NHL will announce final rosters on Jan. 19.
Other Capitals players worthy of consideration include center Evgeny Kuznetsov, whose 28 assists are tied for 15th in the NHL, and goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who ranks eighth in both save percentage (.916) and GAA (2.58) among netminders with at least 20 games played.