Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin (Russian: Евгений Малкин, Jevgenij Malkin) (born July 31, 1986 in Magnitogorsk, U.S.S.R.) is a Russian professional ice hockey player.

The 6 foot 3 inch, 200 pound center was drafted 2nd overall (behind Alexander Ovechkin) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, Malkin remained in Russia for the 2005-06 hockey season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk after the Russian Hockey Federation refused to ratify a transfer agreement between the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation, forcing Malkin to honor his existing contract with Magnitogorosk. On August 7, 2006, it appeared that the 20-year-old Russian player had come to a compromise and signed a deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk that would have kept him in Russia until May 2007. Malkin stated that he signed the one-year contract not as a compromise but because of the immense "psychological pressure" his former club exerted on him, and, after leaving his Russian team while practicing in Finland, Malkin invoked a provision of Russian labor law that allowed him to cancel his contract by giving his employer two weeks notice, which allowed him to sign a contract with the Penguins on September 5, 2006. His contract is identical to the contract signed by Alexander Ovechkin before his breakout season last year.

Malkin is a product of the Metallurg Magnitogorsk hockey school. He has consistently been the top scorer on Russia's '06 national team. He made his debut on the U18 squad during the 2003 U18 World Junior Championships, where he skated on the top line with Alexander Ovechkin. He made his Russian Superleague debut during the 2003-04 season, working his way up from the fourth line.

Malkin has been compared to players such as legendary Montreal Canadien Jean Beliveau and former Pittsburgh Penguins player Mario Lemieux. Malkin is a very smooth skater with great passing ability and many experts agree that in a draft without an Ovechkin- or Crosby-like prospect he could and would be a first overall.

Malkin was named top forward and MVP of the 2006 World Junior Hockey Tournament for the silver medal winning Russian team, which he captained. He earned first star against the American hockey team in the semi-finals, but team Russia eventually lost 5-0 to Team Canada in the finals. Less than two months later, Malkin was given one of the final spots on the senior Russian hockey team for the 2006 Winter Olympics, where he helped the team to a fourth-place finish with 6 points in 7 games, and was named the team's best player, despite playing on the third line behind the likes of Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, Kovalev, Ovechkin and Yashin. He also played at the IIHF World Hockey Championships in May, where he led Team Russia with 9 points. He is one of the very few hockey players to play in all three major tournaments in the same year.

His father, Vladimir, was a defenseman for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and his brother, Denis, was also in Metallurg's hockey system. Evgeni, according to his father, used to sleep with a hockey stick in his bed.

On September 20, 2006, in his first preseason game as a Pittsburgh Penguin, Malkin collided with a teammate and dislocated his shoulder, which forced him to miss the start of the season. Malkin made his NHL debut on October 18 against the New Jersey Devils, scoring his first NHL goal against goaltender Martin Brodeur.

On October 19, 2006, Malkin's former Russian hockey club filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NHL and the Penguins in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit claims that Malkin should not be permitted to play in the NHL because he is still under contract in Russia. The claim also seeks unspecified monetary damages.

In his first 4 games in the NHL, Malkin has 4 goals and 2 assists. Malkin is the first player to score in each of his first four games since Steven King of the Rangers in 1992.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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