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It’s too early to say for sure that McDavid is the second coming of Gretzky, but we can be certain we are seeing a young player ascend to the highest levels of the sport, and doing things his peers simply are unable to duplicate.
If this were a typical 82-game season, McDavid would be on pace to record 49 goals and 97 assists for 146 points, a point total that would rank 12th all time on the era-adjusted points leaderboard behind luminaries like Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
Gretzky was 53 when he suffered his stroke, just a few months into retirement after 34 years at Bell.Walter Gretzky, father of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, dies at 82|news services and staff reports|March 5, 2021|Washington Post
Still, even if he’s at a goal every other game — a significant drop-off from his career average — he could reach Gretzky late in the 2024-25 season, when he’s 39.
Even if you just take the games lost since 2012-13, that’s another 40 to 45 goals Ovechkin might have scored — which would put him fourth already, behind just Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Jaromir Jagr.
Weighing in on the matter, they have all but tried and convicted Wayne Gretzky as a domineering dad in the process.