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Editorials

New York Islanders Top 10 Prospects In the System in 2018

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Kieffer Bellows celebrates with the New York Islanders after being selected 19th during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Kieffer Bellows celebrates with the New York Islanders after being selected 19th during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 25: Ilya Sorokin #31 of Olympic Athlete from Russia warms up before the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game against Germany on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Ilya Sorokin

I know I tossed shade at Sorokin when discussing Linus Soderstrom, but there’s no question that Sorokin is talented. If it wasn’t for his non-North American status he’d be at the very top of the list.

Currently, Sorokin is locked into a contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. And he isn’t likely to break that deal so he can come to the NHL on an entry-level contract that would pay him less than what he’s earning now.

Sorokin’s been with CSKA since 2014-15. Over the last four seasons, he’s averaged an outstanding 1.39 GAA and 938SV% in 110 games played. With those numbers, Sorokin should be the first name on any top prospect list. But his desire to stay in Russia takes a serious hit to his rank.

He’s one of the elite goalies in his native Russia, so why leave home to come to the Islanders. We already know the appeal of playing in your home market. (Too soon?)

If Sorokin comes to North America it will be as a free agent once the Islanders claim to his rights have expired. He might still decide to stay with the Islanders, but with another 30 teams trying to woo him and with big money probably on the table, you have to think the Isles chances take a hit.

It’s still possible for Sorokin to make the jump to the NHL this season, or even next season. You just never know with these KHL deals. Often they have out clauses and back-doors for players to make the move to the NHL when the time is right.

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