Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pittsburgh signs Malkin

Our friend Brushback reported late last night that the Pittsburgh Penguins had signed Evgeni Malkin to a three year contract (according to Russian newspaper Sport Express). The 19-year-old centre, a second-overall pick in the 2004 draft, will join the Penguins for next season.

Like many of those who've seen Malkin play live, I came away thoroughly impressed by his play at the 2006 World Junior Championship in January. Malkin was clearly a step above the other youngsters on the ice, and brings a blend of finesse, size and speed that only the truly elite NHLers have. Unlike the prototypical Russian forward, he's also an excellent defensive player.

Malkin's going to be a treat to watch, especially playing on the same team as Sid Crosby, and is the early frontrunner for the 2007 Calder Trophy.

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