After years of waiting it is now official. The New York Islanders and Ilya Sorokin have agreed on an Entry-Level Contract.
For years we’ve heard about Ilya Sorokin. For years we’ve heard of his brilliance between the pipes for CSKA Moscow. But the 2014 third-round pick by the New York Islanders had yet to make the jump to North America.
With video game-like numbers, Islanders fans wondered year after year when Sorokin might cross the Atlantic. If ever.
But today, the New York Islanders and Ilya Sorokin have agreed to an entry-level contract.
. The wait is over.
How We Got Here
No details of the deal were released. As per usual with Lou Lamoriello. But as per the NHL CBA, an ELC for a 24-year-old player can only be for a single year.
In terms of the compensation, as all ELC deals, they’re subject to a max AAV of $925,000.
For a while, the NHL held a firm line that players on a team’s reserve list could not sign current year deals as per the CBA. But with the signing of the CBA and RTP plan, that line softened. Sorokin could not only sign his one-year ELC for 2019-20 (and effectively burn it) but he could also join the team for Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the RTP. He can not play, however.
Over eight seasons and 244 regular-season games in the KHL, Sorokin has averaged a ridiculous 1.70GAA and 0.930SV%. He also has 44 shutouts. In 69 playoff games, Sorokin has averaged an even better 1.37GAA and 0.940SV%. Oh and 16 shutouts in those 69 games.
Who knows what Sorokin will turn into at the NHL level, but one thing is clear, he’s a supremely talented goalie. Igor Eronko, now an Assistant GM for KHL side Avangard Omsk, spoke about Sorokin’s potential (subscription required).
Eronko believes that Ilya Sorokin could be better than fellow Russian goalie Igor Shesterkin because of his KHL experience. Shesterkin played 170 games* since 2013-14 while Sorokin has played 308 games*.
By all accounts, Sorokin could very well be a game-changer for the Islanders who are already the seventh-best team in the NHL since the start of the 2018-19 season. So good things are getting even better on the Island.