Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has won the Kharlamov Trophy as the top Russian player in the NHL.
"This prize is very valuable for me because the winner is chosen by the players themselves," Malkin told rt.com at a ceremony in Moscow. "It's nice when friends off the ice and enemies on the rink are watching your game, and are even afraid of you at times."
He laughed after that last comment.
Malkin, 25, was the NHL's leading scorer with 109 points, including 50 goals. He is considered a favorite to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP at the NHL Awards June 20 in Las Vegas. He is also a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award as top player, as voted by fellow players.
The Kharlamov Trophy puts him in good company.
"Sergei Fedorov, Pavel Datsyuk, Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk have gotten this award in the past, and I'm proud to stand in the same line with such talented players," Malkin said. "This is a great honor. I want to win the Kharlamov Trophy next season as well, and I'll do everything to get it."
Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly First Published June 9, 2012 9:45 AM