21 June 2012, 22:04

Russia’s Yevgeni Malkin becomes NHL’s best player

Russia’s Yevgeni Malkin becomes NHL’s best player

At the annual NHL Awards postseason ceremony in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, Russia’s international and Pittsburgh Penguins center Yevgeni Malkin claimed three major trophies.

He was recognized as a puckster who made the most considerable contribution to the development and success of his team.

He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s scoring champion and the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s best player.

Citing Malkin’s 50 goals and 59 assists, commentators unanimously heaped praise on what they said was the 25-year-old’s best season both in Pittsburg Penguins and Russia’s national team. At the 2012 World Ice Hockey Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm, Malkin was acknowledged as the tournament’s most valuable player who scored 11 goals and made 8 assists in 10 matches. During the championship, he played in the capacity of center forward of what local media described as the Red Machine.

Noted Sovier puckster-turned-coach Alexander Yakushev particularly praised Malkin’s returning to ice after a serious injury.

"Malkin’s performance throughout the season showed that he remains one of the best players in the NHL and the world, Yakushev says. This is something that he proved when playing as part of Russia’s national team during the 2012 World Championship. He added significantly to our team’s victory at the tournament, and his performance should be an example to look up to by his teammates and amateur players in Russia and beyond."

Pittsburgh Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma said that Yevgeni Malkin made both his teammates and rivals to mention his name in superlative degree. Bylsma was echoed by Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, chief coach of the Russian national team, who touted Malkin as a backbone player and a real professional who does his job with a huge drive. Malkin’s teammates said that they were happy to play with him, specifically praising his desire to assist. Yevgeni Koreshkov, coach of Russia’s junior hockey team, said, in turn, that a strong-wiled and self-motivated person, Malkin shows no signs of suffering from a superiority complex.

"I’m sure of such a man and player, Koreshkov says, referring to Malkin, with whom he previously played in Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He never stops, and he always tries to prove that he is the best player, Koreshkov adds, praising Malkin’s personal traits. I can safely say that his winning three NHL awards will by no means turn his head and affect his performance in the future, Koreshkov concludes."

As for Malkin fans, they understandably hold out hope that he will perform brilliantly at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

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