Islanders: Ilya Sorokin To Leave KHL For NHL

Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA Moscow (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images)
Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA Moscow (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images) /

New York Islanders 2014 draft pick, Ilya Sorokin has decided to leave the KHL for the NHL. Will sign after April 30 when his KHL deal expires.

The New York Islanders just got the best goalie outside of the NHL to agree to come play for them in 2020-2021. No that isn’t hyperbole, Ilya Sorokin is widely considered the best goalie outside of the NHL and Igor Eronko reported that he is leaving the KHL to come to Long Island.

As Eronko states, his deal expires on April 30, but Sorokin has no plans to re-sign with CSKA and instead will take his talents west of the Atlantic Ocean.

In July of 2017, Sorokin signed a three-year extension to keep him with CSKA through 2019-2020 and it appeared like the former third-round pick would never be coming to the Islanders.

A lot has changed since then though. Garth Snow and Doug Weight are gone and in comes Lou Lamoriello, Barry Trotz, Mitch Korn, Piero Greco, and friend Semyon Varlamov. The situation is clearly better for Sorokin now so he will sign a one-year ELC before becoming an RFA the following year.

The excitement for Sorokin is real as he continues to put up monster numbers in the KHL. This past season, Sorokin had a .935 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average. The scary part, that’s a down year for him.

His highest goals against average in his five-year KHL career came in 2016-2017 when he had a 1.61 and a career low .929 save percentage, not bad for a “bad season”.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it’s not fair to Sorokin to expect him to come over to the NHL and put up insane numbers while starting 60 games. Expect Sorokin to come in and split time with Semyon Varlamov in year one.

The Isles are still paying Varly $5 million a year, he’s going to get more starts in year one. Sorokin should likely get 30-35 starts in year one which should be plenty to prove he can hang in this league.

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Rejoice Islanders fans, the team may have just found their elusive franchise goalie.