Last night, the NHL All-Rookie Team was released. My prediction for 2020-2021; Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin makes the list.
The NHL awards were released last night, and it was rather quiet on the Islanders‘ front. We already knew Lou Lamoriello won General Manager of the year, so we had very little rooting interest last night.
One of the awards given out last night was All-Rookie Team honors. There’s one goalie, two defensemen, and three forwards that get added to the team.
In net, Elvis Merzlikins got the nomination. The 25-year-old, Latvian native was excellent for Columbus this year. In 31 starts he went 13-9-8 with a .923 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average.
At five on five, Merzlikins had the fifth best save percentage in the league at .931 with a 2.14 goals against. He was also 11th in high danger save percentage and second in high danger goals allowed.
Stellar would be an accurate way of describing Elvis Merzlikins in 2020. Next year, I think we see Ilya Sorokin on this list.
Ilya Sorokin is under contract with the Islanders at $2 million and is expected to split time with Semyon Varlamov in the 2020-2021 season. There’s no reason to believe that he can’t get at least 30 starts and put up good numbers in the NHL.
This past year in the KHL, he had a .935 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average. If you look at what fellow countryman, Igor Shesterkin did last year in the NHL, .932 save percentage and 2.52 goals against in 12 games, I think we can see something similar.
Maybe not as high of a save percentage over a larger sample but if we get a .920+ save percentage and a sub 2.60 goals against average that should be enough to receive a nomination in 2021.
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Isles fans are excited for Ilya Sorokin and rightfully so. He has two of the best goalie coaches in the sport with Piero Greco and Mitch Korn, the ceiling is sky high for the Russin prodigy.