#3 – Evgeni Malkin
Getting Evgeni Malkin into the NHL was a difficult task, but once he arrived, he showed the world that he was one of the premiere talents on Earth.
After being drafted second-overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Malkin’s KHL club, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, had no interest in letting him leave Russia.
It took a tournament in Helsinki, Finland to get Geno out of the country and into hiding. With the world searching for him, when Malkin next publicly reappeared, it was in America with the passport Magnitogorsk once locked away.
Now, at age 35 and having played 16 seasons for the Penguins, Malkin is a future hall-of-fame inductee. He has played 972 career games where he has potted 441 goals and assisted on 698 more, earning a total of 1139 points.
The former 50-goal scorer may not be producing at the same rate as he once did but he is still greater than a point-per-game player. This season, in 32 games, he has recorded 35 points on 17 goals and 18 helpers.
Malkin is finishing up a monster contract. It is an eight-year deal worth $76 million. That’s an average annual salary of $9.5 million. With Malkin on the back end of his career, he will not be getting anything near that level of compensation. It will be interesting to see what the superstar’s next contract entails as well as where he decides to sign. Perhaps, this will spell the end of his time in The Steel City.