Prospects: Ilya Sorokin Leading KHL in Save %

By Corwin McCallum

The New York Islanders’ goalies are impressing in more than one league.

While the combination of Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak have given the Islanders the third best save percentage in the NHL, 2014 third-round pick Ilya Sorokin leads the KHL in save percentage.

Sorokin is only twenty years old and has forced his way into more ice time behind two more senior goalies on his team, CSKA Moscow. Stanislav Galimov and former Edmonton Oilers goalie, Viktor Fasth, started the year with the bulk of the starts, combining to play 13 of the first 14 games, . Neither Fasth or Galimov did much to keep the role, and Sorokin has stepped up in the time being.

Sorokin has put up stellar numbers with a 96.1 save percentage over 16 games this season. His play hasn’t gone unnoticed as the team has started him in 14 of the last 27 games, and he’s in consideration to start on a nightly basis.

16 games is not much for a goalie (See: Andrew Hammond), so it’s important to temper expectations, but it’s an impressive stretch in what is widely considered the second best league in the world.

Obviously, Sorokin won’t be in the NHL any time soon, but the Islanders don’t need him to be. However, last season, in an interview with a Russian website, and later translated by The Hockey Writers, he did confirm that he wants to play in the NHL. His contract with CSKA runs through the 2017-18 KHL season (slightly before the end of the NHL season), so he won’t be in North America until at least then. Halak’s contract is up within the same year and Greiss’s is up the year before, so should Sorokin continue to impress, it could be perfect timing for the Islanders.

Next: Recap: Isles Snap Losing Streak

As the saying goes, goalies are voodoo, but nobody in the Islanders’ front office is going to be sorry to see a prospect of theirs lighting up a league with NHL caliber players in it.

CSKA Moscow’s next game is tomorrow night and we’ll be sure to update you on his progress throughout the season.