Barry Trotz has named the New York Islanders starting goalie for 2021. While the decision isn’t a surprise, expect it to change as the season progresses.
There’s a ton of excitement regarding the New York Islanders situation in net for the 2021 NHL season. With Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin ready for the next season, the Isles have two capable shot-stoppers between the pipes.
Who would be the starter was likely never in question, but Trotz would certainly take training camp to determine who would be his number one goalie. Just four days before puck drop on the Islanders 2021 season opener, Trotz has decided.
Varlamov Number 1
After camp was done for the day on Sunday, Barry Trotz told the media that Semyon Varlamov would be his number one goalie going into the 2021 season.
Again, that isn’t much of a surprise. Varlamov is a 12-year NHL veteran who had good numbers during the 2019-20 regular season for the Islanders with a 19-14-6 record and an average 2.62GAA and 0.914SV%. In the first half of the season, Varlamov was at his peak with a 2.21GAA and 0.920SV% through 24 games.
In the playoffs, Varlamov was even better. He was a big reason the Islanders were able to push their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Over 20 playoff games in the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles, Varlamov averaged a 2.14GAA and 0.921SV%. Those stats are eerily familiar to those from the first half of the 2019-20 regular season.
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Sorokin still hasn’t played an NHL game so this isn’t a surprise considering how careful Barry Trotz is with rookies. Sure, Sorokin is 25-years-old, so he’s not some 18-year-old first-time pro, but again, he has yet to skate in a competitive NHL game where the results matter so Barry wasn’t about to hand him the reigns even if he had a superb training camp.
Will that change during the regular season? I would imagine it does. Everything we’ve heard about Sorokin is how incredible he can and will be. As the 2021 season progresses so will Sorokin’s claim over the team’s number one role.