Penguins prospect Evgeni Malkin made his presence felt at the World Junior Championship tournament in Vancouver.
The Russian star, Pittsburgh’s 2004 second-overall pick, was named the tournament’s top forward. The media also chose the 6-foot-3 center as the tourney’s MVP.
Malkin, who is only 19, finished tied for second in WJC scoring with 10 points (4+6) in six games. Finnish forward Lauri Tukonen (3+7) tied Malkin with 10 points. American Phil Kessel led the tourney with 11 points (1+10). However, Tukonen and Kessel had the chance to play in seven games, while Russia and Malkin only played six contests.
Canada and defenseman Kris Letang, who had a goal and two assists in the tourney, rolled past Russia, 5-0, on Thursday to claim the gold medal.
Malkin’s selection as the WJC’s top forward makes it two times in two years for Russia. Alexander Ovechkin earned top forward honors last year as Russia finished second to Sidney Crosby and Canada.
Penguins prospect Tommi Leinonen, a 2005 fourth-round choice (125th overall) won a bronze medal with Finland. The defenseman finished with two assists in six games.
Sweden’s Johannes Salmonsson, Pittsburgh’s 2004 second-round pick (31st overall), finished the tournament with four points (2+2) in five games.
For complete tournament information, game reports, box scores, schedules and photos, please log on to www.hockeycanada.ca.
Statistical information, rosters and schedules also are available on the International Ice Hockey Federation website at www.iihf.com.