Editorials

Islanders Ilya Sorokin Can Sign ELC For 2019-2020

By Matt O'Leary
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) /
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The New York Islanders will be allowed to sign Ilya Sorokin to a one-year ELC for the 2019-2020 season according to Arthur Staple.

The news Islanders fans have been waiting for has finally come, and it’s good news. Unsigned draft choices, like Ilya Sorokin, are allowed to sign entry-level contracts for the 2019-2020 season.

Arthur Staple of The Athletic broke the news on Twitter, stating that league sources confirmed that players like Sorokin are able to sign for this year. The only caveat is that they wouldn’t be able to play in the return to play scenario for August.

This comes as no surprise, and it’s not really like the Isles were looking for Sorokin to play this year. This allows for them to play out the remainder of the season with Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss and then in 2020-2021, Sorokin can be worked into the picture.

For years, the Islanders were looking to get Sorokin to come over and it looks like they finally hit the jackpot. Hope was initially lost when Sorokin extended in the KHL back in 2017 instead of opting to sign with the Islanders.

A lot has changed since then. Now, with Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello in charge, the Islanders look like a destination and it’s a beautiful thing.

Sorokin’s KHL numbers were something out of a video game. During the 2019-2020 season, Sorokin had a .935 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average. Arguably his best year in the K came in 2015-2016 when he had a .954 save percentage and a 1.06 goals against average.

The numbers are absolutely ridiculous and there’s a legitimate chance that this guy could be the franchise goalie, something the Isles have lacked for a very long time.

You can expect him to sign a max ELC for the remainder of this year, and then the RFA negotiation can begin after that. With the cap remaining the same, it’s going to be annoying to add Sorokin to the mix of RFAs like Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews.

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While an inconvenience, I’m sure Lou Lamoriello has a plan in place for the future of this team, and that future just got a little more exciting with this news.

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