The New York Islanders have two young net minders in the organization that has the fan base very excited. While both are a year away from becoming NHL players, make no mistake the goalies are coming.
The New York Islanders have to be thrilled with their future in between the pipes. Both of their top two goalie prospects, Ilya Sorkin and Linus Soderstrom have ceilings of being elite starting goaltenders in the NHL.
When Garth Snow drafted Linus Soderstrom in the fourth round of the 2014 draft (95th overall) he was considered a project. Well, the learning curve on the Swedish goalie is starting to point upwards by leaps and bounds.
Soderstrom, helped his team, HV71 Jonkoping, win the championship in the Swedish league this past season. During the regular season the 6’4, 198 lbs goalie went 18-4-0 with 1.34 goals against average and .943 save percentage.
New York Islanders
Soderstrom is obviously a very big goalie who is also very strong technically and has great vision. The upside on him is very high.
As good as Soderstrom is, Ilya Sorokin has a higher prospect ranking. The 6’2, 176 lbs netminder was a third round pick in 2014 (78th overall). Snow made a couple of great picks in rounds three and four, between Sorokin and Soderstrom.
This past year Sorokin played for CSKA Moscow and put up another incredible season. He went 25-7-6 with 1.61 goals against average and .929 save percentage.
The year before the Russian goalie won the KHL goalie of the year award when he posted 1.06 goals against and .953 save percentage. Those are video game numbers.
Sorokin was ranked #61 by the Hockey News on their recent top 100 prospect list in the future watch issue. Sorokin is athletic, poised, mature, and demands consistency to his game.
He has a good chance to be very special.
Both Soderstrom and Sorokin will play next year in Sweden and Russia respectively. Both kids are in the last year of their contracts. Having them develop overseas for another year against men is a good situation for the Isles. But after that, they are heading to Long Island.
This is the perfect scenario for the Isles. Greiss and Halak can share the duties next season and then Sorokin and Soderstrom will head over to the Isles with Jaroslav departing.
Greiss is the perfect bridge goalie for the franchise. He has shown he is a number one goaltender that can play at a high level in the playoffs. This will allow the kids to learn and grow at the NHL level without the pressure of being a starting goalie in the league.
The Islanders are set in goal for the next decade plus. An interesting question is would Snow be willing to trade one of these youngsters in a deal to land a top-flight offensive forward?