Editorials

Islanders: Ilya Sorokin Expectations For 2021 Season

By Matt O'Leary
Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images)
Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images) /
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Ilya Sorokin is finally going to make his NHL debut this season. What can Islanders fans expect from him in 2021?

Since 2015-2016, Islanders fans have been hearing the hype of Ilya Sorokin. That year he put up a monster season in the KHL putting up a .953 save percentage and a 1.06 goals against average. That was only the beginning.

For the next four seasons, we played the game of is he coming over here or is he not, and finally, Sorokin is here for his NHL debut. He signed for a one-year $2 million deal so the expectation is that he will split time with Semyon Varlamov in 2021.

The hope is that Sorokin is the goalie of the future. Can we see that from him in 2021?

2021 Expectations

Projecting what someone coming over from the KHL is going to do in the NHL is very difficult. Obviously, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing his wild .950 save percentages at this level but I don’t think his numbers are going to drop off a cliff either.

His raw talent is better than any other Islanders goalie they’ve had over the last two years and with the success that Mitch Korn and Piero Greco had with them indicates the chances of Sorokin being good are pretty high.

At least at the beginning of the year, I think Varlamov will get more time as they try to ease Sorokin over to the NHL. Still, with a condensed season, Sorokin will get his fair chance of playing time.

Sorokin will play 21 games for the Islanders giving them a .921 save percentage and a 2.47 goals against average. In the offseason, the Isles will make the transition to making this Sorokin’s team sending Varlamov to Seattle in the Expansion Draft.

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I’m extremely confident in Sorokin heading into the season. I don’t think he wins the Calder, but I think Islanders fans will be more than satisfied with his 2021 season.

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