Pittsburgh Penguins forward prospect Anton Zlobin was among 31 players invited today to participate in Team Russia’s National Junior Team selection camp Dec. 7-20 in Novogorsk, Russia.
Zlobin will be auditioning for a spot on Russia’s entry at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.
Earlier on Tuesday, four local players who played their youth hockey in the Pittsburgh amateur hockey system – goaltender John Gibson and forwards J.T. Miller, Vince Trocheck and Riley Barber – were named to Team USA’s preliminary roster.
Zlobin, 19, has ranked among the top offensive performers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this year in his first season with the Val d’ Or Foreurs following an offseason trade. Zlobin currently ranks third on the team with 37 points (14G-23A) in 27 games.
The 5-foot-11, 189-pound Zlobin, who hails from Moscow, has been red hot over the past two months, tallying at least one point in 19 of his last 21 games played for a total of 33 points (11G-22A) – including a 15-game point streak between Oct. 7-Nov. 14. Last month, Zlobin was a member of the Russian squad that defeated the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) in the six-game Subway Super Series held in various cities throughout Canada.
Last season, the 2012 sixth-round (173rd overall) draft pick enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Shawinigan Cataractes, tallying team-best totals with 40 goals (making him 1 of just 6 players in the QMJHL to reach that number) and 76 points in his second year playing in North America.
Zlobin was instrumental in helping the Cataractes earn a Memorial Cup championship as the top team in the CHL. In addition to scoring both of his team’s goals in the decisive victory over London, he led all players in the tournament with five goals in six games, while his nine points ranked second (tied) overall. Zlobin also added 10 points (3G-7A) in 11 QMJHL postseason contests.
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