— Russia Hockey (@russiahockey_en) May 15, 2017
New York Islanders goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin has signed a three-year contract extension with CSKA, reports Slava Malamud.
Ilya Sorokin, the New York Islanders’ top goaltending prospect, has signed a three-year contract extension with CSKA of the KHL, according to reports.
On Monday, the news broke that Sorokin, 21, would be staying in the KHL. Slava Malamud first reported the news.
So, if #Isles fans have been waiting on goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin, he's just inked a 3-year extension with CSKA.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) July 3, 2017
While it’s uncertain whether or not Sorokin can opt-out of this deal, the news serves as yet another reminder of the Isles’ struggles in getting their Russian prospects overseas.
Mark D of Lighthouse Hockey looked at this issue ad nauseam and found that the Islanders have drafted a lot of Russians, but that virtually none of them have made an impact at the NHL level.
Recently, Isles fans went through a roller-coaster ride with Kirill Petrov — a 2008 third-round pick whom the Isles signed to an NHL contract, but wasn’t allowed to play in the NHL — and Kirill Kabanov — another third rounder who never played a game with the big-league club. The fear is that Sorokin will follow suit.
At 6’2”, 167 pounds, Sorokin is an outstanding athlete. He has a projectable frame and enough talent to one day become a premier NHL goaltender. He is still a little raw, but he’s got plenty of time to fully develop. The problem is that while he may be developing into a top goalie, it doesn’t concern the Isles if he never comes to the NHL.
Granted, the Isles still have Swedish goalie prospect Linus Söderstrom in the pipeline, and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding him. But even if they’re able to get him into blue and orange, and even if he emerges as a future star, the team would still be missing out on Sorokin, who has quite a lot of promise.
Playing for CSKA last season, he recorded a 25-7-6 record with a .929 save percentage and 1.61 goals-against average. If he ends up coming to the Big Apple, the Isles could have a star. If not, it’s just more proof that the Isles don’t fare well with Russian prospects.
This is a developing story.