The New York Islanders have many prospects to get excited about. Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle and 2016 1st round pick Kiefer Bellows give the Islanders a very bright future. However, the top prospect that is flying under the radar in New York’s system is goaltender Ilya Sorokin. That is very intriguing considering Sorokin is the Islanders future in net.
Islanders goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin has a lot of promise https://t.co/OUlWEz2ZDt
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) July 3, 2016
Ilya Sorokin was a 3rd round pick (78th overall) by the Islanders in the 2014 draft. The Russian netminder doesn’t turn 21 until next month. Sorokin is 6’2 and 168 lbs.
Last year in the KHL, Sorokin put up ridiculous numbers for CSKA Moscow. During the regular season, Sorokin played in 28 games, had a record of 17-7-4 with 1.06 goals against average, .953 save percentage with 10 shutouts. In the playoffs, Sorokin was just as sensational going 15-5 with a 1.32 GAA and a .945 save percentage. Sorokin was the youngest player to win the KHL top goalie award.
In terms of what the scouts say about Sorokin, there is a lot of praise. He is a very quick, athletic and has great physical skills. Sorokin is at an advanced stage given his age. His skill set could translate to an elite goalie in the NHL. But maybe Sorokin’s greatest strength is his maturity level. This is a recent quote from the kid who hails from Mezhdurechensk, Russia.
I have to prove a lot of things. I need consistency. You can have one year of perfect play but you need another year to show you can be on that consistent level.
Islanders Goalie Situation
The Islanders have a lot of quality netminders throughout the organization. On the main roster, New York has Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, and J.F Berube. In addition to Sorokin, the Islanders have Linus Soderstrom, Eamon McAdam, and Stephon Williams in the pipeline as well.
Halak (31) is signed for two more years. Greiss (30) is an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Islanders have Berube (25) under team control the next few seasons.
There is a good chance general manager Garth Snow trades one of his three NHL goalie’s this summer. Sorokin could have a great impact on the Islanders future moves regarding their netminders.
The truth is, Halak and Greiss are basically stopgap until Sorokin is ready.
— Daniel J. Friedman (@DanJFriedman) July 10, 2016
Sorokin Arrival in NY
Sorokin is under contract for two more years in the KHL. The Islanders top brass were thrilled when he came over this month to Long Island to participate in New York’s prospect camp. Sorokin did not disappoint with his play.
Ideally, the Islanders would like to see Sorokin duplicate his 2015-16 performance next season in the KHL. If that happens it will be clear that Sorokin will be ready to take the next step to the NHL. At that point the big question would be can the Islanders bring Sorokin over to North America with one year to go on his KHL contract. A year from now when various publications list the top prospects in the sport, Ilya Sorokin will be very prominent on that list.