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.
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) July 14, 2020
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
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.