Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In preseason fantasy rankings, he wasn't even supposed to be the best center on his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Evgeni Malkin won this year's 2009 TSN Fantasy Center Award.
Of course it's not like Malkin wasn't expected to perform at a high level, it's just that with Sidney Crosby on your team, it's tough to forecast anyone else as the No.1 center.
But that's just what Malkin did, outperforming Crosby in all six fantasy categories (goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power play points and shots on goal).
In fact, Crosby, the consensus No.2 overall selection behind Alexander Ovechkin on Draft Day, was just the fourth-best fantasy center in 2009 trailing Philadelphia's Jeff Carter and Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf as well.
In the Malkin-Carter matchup, Carter won goals, plus/minus and shots, but fell short in the other three categories, particularly assists where Malkin more than doubled Carter's 38-assist total.
But Carter's performance was good enough to score him the 2009 TSN Best Fantasy Bargain Award. Preseason, Carter had an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 76 and was rated the 25th-best center.
Most Disappointing Award goes to Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Coming off a 108-point 2006-07 and 92 points last year, much more was expected of the 1998 first-round pick. A fall in production of 11 goals and 14 assists dropped him to 18th-best after being a top-five center in preseason drafts.