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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins’ first-round draft pick in 2004, was one of 77 players named to Russia’s preliminary roster for the 2005 Winter Olympics, it was announced Monday.

Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar also was among those named for the Russian squad.

Malkin, a 19-year-old center, plays for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Russian Super League. He also is eligible to play for Russia in the World Junior Championships in December and January.

Forward Tomas Surovy of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins was named to Slovakia’s preliminary roster.

Previously, Canada and Sweden had announced their preliminary Olympic rosters. Three Penguins – Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Mark Recchi – are on Canada’s roster, and defenseman Dick Tarnstrom is on Sweden’s roster.

The Olympic tournament will be held in February in Turin, Italy. All participating countries must submit a final roster of players taken from their preliminary rosters on or before Dec. 22.

One notable exception from the Slovakian roster was Penguins forward Ziggy Palffy, who announced his retirement from the national team following the 2005 world championships.

Rosters are posted on the International Ice Hockey Federation website at

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