Islanders given another huge boost in Ilya Sorokin situation

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

Ilya Sorokin will be allowed to join (but not play) for the New York Islanders in Phase 3 and 4.

We know that the NHL will allow teams like the New York Islanders to sign unsigned draft picks like Ilya Sorokin to current year contracts for the 2019-20 season.

Sorokin can sign his one-year ELC for 2019-20, burn it, and then sign for more money in 2020-21. The NHL indicated while Sorokin could sign a contract for 2019-20 he wouldn’t be able to actually play for Islanders teams this year.

What wasn’t quite clear was if Sorokin could participate in Phase 3 (training camp) or join his team for Phase 4 (hub cities) of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan.

Time to Settle

Today, we found out that while Sorokin could not in fact play in a game he could join the team for training camp and for Phase 4 so long as he is signed to a contract.

As Arthur Staple points out in his tweet, the window to sign Ilya Sorokin to his one-year ELC for 2019-20 opens on Monday at noon (ET) and closes on Wednesday at 5 PM (ET). If they can get that deal done Sorokin can link up with the Islanders for training camp and for their trip to Toronto.

Again, he can’t actually play a game, but this is a big deal anyways.

By being able to join the team now, Sorokin has months to get up to speed and link up with not only his teammates but Director of Goaltending Mitch Korn and Goalie Coach Pierro Greco.

It also allows Sorokin to begin acclimatizing himself to life in North America. The difficulties of navigating a new culture and a new environment are often forgotten when players come over from across the pond. But it’s a real issue that players sometimes struggle with.

Giving Sorokin months to adapt to his new surroundings, his new team, and what is likely to be new sets of instructions from Greco, Korn, and Trotz before a puck is dropped on 2020-21 is a huge deal. And a huge win for him and the New York Islanders.