GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ilya Sorokin #31 of Olympic Athlete from Russia warms up before the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game against Germany on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Although he won’t be able to play in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the New York Islanders finally sign Russian goaltender Ilya Sorokin.

The New York Islanders have finally singed their white whale: Ilya Sorokin. The Russian is one of the best young goaltenders in the world and the future at the position for the Isles. The team made the signing official in a press release on Tuesday.

Sorokin, 24, won’t be eligible for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he is signed to a one-year deal worth $2 million for 2020-21.

This signing has been a long time coming. The Islanders took the Russian netminder with the 78th pick of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but he opted to remain in the KHL and put up absurd statistics.

For reference, Jordan Binnington led the NHL in goals against average (1.89) in 2018-19. Sorokin’s worst GAA with CSKA Moscow was lower than that (1.61). Obviously, the NHL and KHL are not a direct comparison, but Sorokin’s numbers still stand out. Stats via (hockeydb.com).

Ilya Sorokin Career Stats

Season Team Lge GP A PIM Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct GP A PIM
2012-13 Novokuznetsk Metallurg KHL 5 0 0 151 7 0 0 2.77 1 1 0 79 0.919
2013-14 Novokuznetsk Metallurg KHL 27 0 4 1345 65 0 0 2.90 5 12 0 664 0.911
2014-15 Novokuznetsk Metallurg KHL 22 0 4 978 53 0 1 3.25 4 11 1 508 0.906
2014-15 CSKA Moscow KHL 6 0 0 274 6 0 0 1.31 3 2 0 89 0.937
2015-16 CSKA Moscow KHL 28 0 0 1639 29 0 10 1.06 17 7 4 589 0.953 20 0 0
2016-17 CSKA Moscow KHL 39 2 2 2276 61 0 5 1.61 25 7 6 794 0.929 7 0 0
2017-18 CSKA Moscow KHL 37 2 0 2183 58 0 8 1.59 25 8 4 779 0.931 18 1 0
2018-19 CSKA Moscow KHL 40 2 0 2328 45 0 11 1.16 28 6 4 710 0.940 20 1 0
2019-20 CSKA Moscow KHL 40 0 4 2365 59 0 9 1.50 26 10 3 848 0.935
2019-20p CSKA Moscow KHL 4 2 0 246 3 0 2 0.73 4 0 0 86 0.966

Ilya Sorokin Future

Isles fans have waited long enough for Sorokin and the goaltender is finally going to be in the picture. This almost certainly means that Thomas Greiss is going to be gone after the season. The German goaltender is a free agent at the end of the season and considering the Isles inked Semyon Varlamov to a four-year, $20 million deal in the summer of 2019, it appears Greiss is a goner.

Sorokin should have an opportunity to take the reins from day one. He’s been a No. 1 option for CSKA Moscow for years and should have little problem taking on a significant workload. Having a seasoned veteran — and fellow Russian — in Varlamov to spell Sorokin will be extremely valuable.

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