You might not consider drafting Washington Capitals sniper Alexander Ovechkin in any hockey pools for the 2017-18 season. That is because the native of Moscow, Russia plans to represent his homeland at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
The news should not come as a complete surprise. Ovechkin has announced his pro-Olympic rhetoric all along and even though National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Monday that the NHL would not stop its season for the Olympic Winter Games, Ovechkin is not concerned about what the repercussions (like a possible suspension or fine) might be.
It appears Ovechkin may not be the only Capitals forward that would represent Russia in Pyeongchang next year. He may be joined by Evgeny Kuznetsov of Chelyabinsk. So far this season, Ovechkin has 33 goals and 34 assists for 67 points, but is known for his high number of shots on goal as he leads all NHL forwards with 303. Only San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns has more shots on goal than Ovechkin as he has 313. Kuznetsov meanwhile has had a very respectable season as he has 18 goals and 38 assists for 56 points.
It should also be noted that it appears Ovechkin has the support of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. The Capitals meanwhile have the most points in the NHL. At 114 points, they have five more points than the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.