Russian scoring sensation Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was the outstanding NHL rookie last season. And he's not a bad golfer. ((Chuck Stoody/Canadian Press))

Hockey star Alex Ovechkin hit a hole-in-one on his first day swinging a golf club. Ever.

He hit the shot at a Washington Capitals pre-season charity tournament in Springfield, Va.

After a few minutes of instruction, he shanked the ball repeatedly.Then heasked for a bigger club and his next shot settled on the green. A few hours, and dozens of balls later, he aced the 160-yard, par-3 hole.

"We have this world-class, once-in-a-generation player whose personality is becoming the personality of the team," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said, "which is: 'I can try anything. I can do anything.' "

Having outpolled the more-ballyhooed Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins for top rookie honours last season, Ovechkin quickly established himself as a superstar, a winger gifted with speed and strength, with deft moves and a love of the game, someone the Capitals are building around and banking on.

"I'll try to do things like I did last year, play like I played last year — hard. Hit. Score goals. Pass. And be a good teammate," Ovechkin said, twirling a golf club in his hands during an interview.

"I don't think about whether it will be tougher or easier."