Islanders Ilya Sorokin update: CSKA Moscow and 1-year extension

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

New York Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin and CSKA Moscow have opened talks on a one year deal.

Today, CSKA Moscow indicated that they are looking to sign New York Islanders goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin to a single year deal for the 2020-21 season. Understandably, that has a number of Islanders fans nervous.

Sorokin is the Islanders prized prospect. The Russian goalie is largely seen as the best goalie playing outside of the NHL today. Bringing him in would likely solve the Islanders carousel of goalies since Rick DiPietro was last healthy.

With his contract with CSKA Moscow over at the end of the 2019-20 season, the thought was that Sorokin would make the leap to the NHL and sign his ELC with the Islanders for the remainder of the 2019-20 NHL season.

He may not have played in 2019-20, but the Islanders could have burned that first year of his ELC and signed him to a more lucrative deal for the 2020-21 season. But with the NHL’s arbitrary decision to not allow teams to sign deals for 2019-20 that plan has, temporarily, gone up in smoke.

Talking with CSKA

With a 2019-20 NHL contract up in the air still, Sorokin could possibly sign a deal with KHL club CSKA Moscow for the 2020-21 season. According to Gillian Kemmerer, those discussions are in the early stages.

Now. First, breathe. This doesn’t mean that Sorokin is going back to Russia for the 2020-21 season. What it means is that Sorokin and his camp are at the very least considering all options to make sure their player keeps playing.

With the 2020-21 NHL season not likely starting until December at the earliest and with the 2020-21 KHL season potentially starting in September Sorokin might not want to sit around on the shelf for months on end.

But with that being said, The Athletic’s Michael Russo (subscription required) recently stated that the NHLPA is going to dig their heels in and fight the NHL’s arbitrary decision to not allow players on reserve lists, like Sorokin, to sign a deal this season.

And maybe the NHL continues to show some flexibility and allows teams to sign reserve list players for 2019-20 like they’ve been allowed to do for years.

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As it stands now, Sorokin wants to play for the New York Islanders. He wants to make the jump to the NHL but if he can’t make that jump for another six to seven months then he might just stay in Russia another year.