Ovechkin’s Remarkable Season Earns Honors
USA Today, XM Radio honor Capitals rookie

WASHINGTON , D.C. – Washington Capitals' left wing Alex Ovechkin has been named USA Today’s Clutch Scorer and earned a pair of “Espos” from Home Ice on XM Radio in recognition of his record-breaking rookie season.

USA Today ’s Clutch Scorer award is based on a formula that “rewards points that occur when the game is tight as opposed to ones that run up the score,” writes Mike Brehm in Friday’s paper.

“Ovechkin had a hand in 66 goals that put his team ahead or tied the score. The Capitals had only 126 such goals this season.”

Brehm’s article, including a link to the full Clutch Scorer rankings and formula, is available online: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2006-04-20-clutch-rankings_x.htm

Ovechkin claimed two of the 17 awards presented Wednesday when Home Ice on XM Radio hosted its awards show, the “Espos,” named after “In the Slot” co-host Phil Esposito. Ovechkin won the Carl Voss Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year (Voss was the first recipient of the Calder Trophy, the NHL’s official award for rookie of the year) and the Gilbert Perreault Trophy for best goal of the year (Ovechkin’s goal in Phoenix scored while sliding on his back).

Ovechkin finished his rookie season as just the second NHL rookie to record 50 goals and 100 points, joining Teemu Selanne. His 52 goals and 106 points both ranked third all-time among NHL rookies. His 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 (21) and shots (425). He finished third among all NHLers in points and tied for third in goals. His 425 shots on goal not only led the league but was the fourth-highest total in NHL history.

Ovechkin had a hand in 46.09% of Washington ’s goals this season (106 of 230), the second-highest total in the league this year. Among NHL rookies in history, only Hall of Famer Nels Stewart of the 1925-26 Montreal Maroons was more involved in his team’s scoring (46.15%, 42 of 91). Ovechkin scored an NHL-high 22.6% of his team’s goals this season (52 of 230), second all-time among NHL rookies behind Selanne (23.6%, 76 of 322).

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 .

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