New York Islanders: Moving Forward In Between the Pipes

Dec 23, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 23, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Islanders currently have three goalies on the NHL roster. But does Garth Snow have a true number one goaltender currently? Who will be the number one goalie for next season, 2017-18?

With a number of high-end goalie prospects in the organization, what is the New York Islanders long-term plan in net? GM Garth Snow and Head Coach Jack Capuano flip between Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss all season long.

So let’s break down the Islanders game plan moving forward in between the pipes and figure it out for them.

Jaroslav Halak

Just like most of the New York Islanders roster, Jaroslav Halak is not having his usual solid year. Currently, Halak is 5-8-5 with 3.13 goals against average and .907 save percentage.

The 31-year old Halak is signed through next season with a $4.5 million cap hit. In fact, Halak could be the only goaltender on the Islanders roster come July 1st.

Halak can be the answer for the Islanders in between the pipes in the short-term. It’s possible he can also be moved before the trade deadline or during the upcoming off-season. How long Halak stays with the Islanders involves if the Islanders can move him and sign one of their other pending unrestricted free agent goaltenders.

Thomas Greiss

Thomas Greiss is coming off an outstanding season. Along with John Tavares, he was the co-MVP in last year’s playoff series against the Florida Panthers. The soon to be 31-year old goalie was a terrific free agent signing by Snow two off-seasons ago.

Greiss is a UFA at season’s end and will be sought after by teams that are thin between the pipes. The Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes both could be serious suitors.

Unless Snow moves Halak before the next free agency period begins (July 1st) it’s hard to see the Islanders re-signing Greiss. Greiss could be traded by the trade deadline as well.

J.F. Berube

The 25-year old J.F. Berube deserves a shot to see if he can be an NHL goaltender. Due to the Islanders crowded net Berube has only played in three games this year. If Berube does not play in at least 28 games this season, he becomes a UFA on July 1st.

Ilya Sorokin

It’s hard to find a more intriguing NHL prospect than Ilya Sorokin. The 21-year old, 6’2, 167 lbs netminder is taking the KHL by storm. The Islanders third round pick in 2014 is 19-5-5 with 1.59 goals against average and .928 save percentage for CSKA Moscow this season.

Last year Sorokin was even better going 17-7-4 with 1.06 goals against average and .953 save percentage. Winning the KHL’s goalie of the year for his efforts. His ceiling is one of a franchise goaltender.

There is a matter of the Islanders getting Sorokin over to North America. Sorokin is signed to play in the KHL through next season. He did come over for the team’s prospect camp last June and talked about his goal is to play in the NHL.

The question is when will this happen? Is there any chance the Islanders can get him over the next season? Will Sorokin definitely come over after his KHL contract ends after the 2017-18 season?

With Russian players, there is a big allure of staying home and playing professional hockey in the KHL. Ask the Dallas Stars about that with their talented youngster Valeri Nichuskin.

Given Sorokin’s potential, Garth Snow and the Islanders want him in New York as soon as possible.

Linus Soderstrom

The Islanders goalie prospect that does not get talked enough about is Swedish netminder Linus Soderstrom. The 20-year old goalie has the potential to be a strong number one goalie in this league.

The former fourth round pick (picked one round after Sorokin in 2014) has impressed at past World Junior Championships. Currently playing in the Swedish league against men, Soderstrom is 6-3-0 with 1.76 goals against average and .931 save percentage.

Soderstrom will not have the issues coming over to North America that Sorokin does. Soderstrom could be a big part of the Islanders future or for years to come or a very valuable trade chip.

Eamon McAdam

If there is a forgotten goalie in the organization it’s Eamon McAdam. The 22-year old from Doylestown, Pennsylvania is playing well for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (7-1-0, 3.02 GAA, .898 Sv Pct). Do not forget about this youngster.

Next: The Islanders Are Missing Their Core

The Islanders have an abundance of goalies in the organization. Who will be the future number one net minder and who will be valuable trade chips is the key question.