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Ovechkin surges back to top of NHL jersey sales

After winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has surged back to the top of the NHL's best-selling jerseys.

Ovechkin finished sixth last season in overall jersey sales, with Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs topping the list for the first time. Matthews currently has the fourth-best selling jersey in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was second to Matthews last season and is currently second to Ovechkin in 2018-19. Crosby last had the league's best-selling jersey in 2016-17.

Two trends in NHL jersey sales continued this season. Vegas Golden Knights mania is still running wild, as goalie Marc-Andre Fleury moved from No. 4 in the team's inaugural season to No. 3 in 2018-19. Meanwhile, the NHL's outdoor games still fuel sales, including participants in this season's Winter Classic at Notre Dame: Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane (5th) and Jonathan Toews (6th) moved up from Nos. 8 and 9 last season, while Boston Bruins star Patrice Bergeron jumped from 11th in 2017-18 to seventh.

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux, who finished outside the top 15 last season, is ninth this season, thanks in part to sales of the team's Stadium Series jersey.

Another factor in jersey sales this season: the return of third jerseys for NHL teams. Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks didn't finish in the top 15 last season. Thanks largely to the team's new all-black alternate jersey, for which Burns's is their top seller, the defenseman has the 10th highest-selling jersey this season.

Players who finished in the top 10 last season that are outside of it this season: Henrik Lundqvist and Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.

One trend to watch for the rest of the season: Fanatics is selling a "GRITTY 00" Flyers jersey, as a result of the ubiquitous mascot's popularity.