New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25 #4 Ilya Sorokin
The Eyes on Isles’ New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25 list has goaltenders and then it’s got the goaltender, Ilya Sorokin, who comes in at number four.
New York Islanders goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin is already a professional. He’s played at a high level of competition for a large part of his career. Starring in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), he’s been steadily rising as an elite Russian goaltender.
Sorokin debuted in the KHL with Metallurg Novokuznetsk as a fresh-faced 18 year old. He played in only five games with fairly average numbers (2.77 GAA, .919 SVS%). The two seasons that followed saw him play in more games with Metallurg Novokuznetsk with a similar outcome.
It wasn’t until Sorokin was acquired by CSKA during the 2014-15 season that those average numbers would begin to change. He finished the season with CSKA playing in only six games but posting a 1.31 goals against average and a .937 save percentage. The next season he took on more of the load and played in 28 games with a 1.06 goals against average and a .953 save percentage.
In the KHL, Sorokin has posted 14 regular season shutouts. In his first 10 games of the current season, he has three to go along with his .954 save percentage. He’s received accolades as KHL All-Star (2015-16) and as the KHL’s best goaltender (2015-16) at just 20.
Sorokin turned 21 this summer and his future in North America is uncertain at least through next season due to his KHL contract. Still, he excited fans when he made his first trip to the United States and participated in the Isles’ June prospect camp. He appeared in the annual scrimmage offering a little tease to what he can do.
Next: Top 25 Under 25: #5 Anthony Beauvillier
He’s a precocious kid with the skill-set to succeed. He recognizes the need to play more and show consistency over the long haul. For now, we wait and watch, and maybe salivate a little on what could be.