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Analysis

Islanders Ilya Sorokin Proves He Was Worth the Wait

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 14: Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 14, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 14: Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 14, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders had been waiting and waiting and then waiting for Ilya Sorokin for some time. Sorokin has proved he was worth the wait.

The New York Islanders MVP in Round 1 of the Playoffs versus the Pittsburgh Penguins was Sorokin. He went 4-0 with 1.95 goals against and a .943 save percentage. He was also reasons 1, 2, and 3 why the Islanders won the critical Game 5 in Pittsburgh.

When Garth Snow drafted Sorokin in the third round of the 2014 Draft (78th overall) there wasn’t a lot of fanfare or hockey insiders claiming the Isles landed a future stud goalie. But as time went on that changed dramatically.

As Sorokin developed in the KHL after being drafted he put up video game numbers, as well as win huge awards in Russia. The hockey world noticed.

Islanders wait for Ilya Sorokin was worth it

The question then was when can the Islanders get Sorokin over to Long Island. Along the way Sorokin re-signed with CSKA Moscow and questions came up; will he just stay in Russia or does he not want to play for the Isles?

But Lou Lamoriello made Sorokin a priority after joining the Islanders. Finally, last July Sorokin signed a one-year deal with the blue and orange. Although, he was not eligible to dress for any playoff games for the Isles in the bubble last year. So Islander fans had to wait a little bit longer.

Sorokin Season

Sorokin had a strong first season in the NHL, although he got off to a slow start. He was thrown into his first start unexpectedly and at the last minute in the second game of the season against the Rangers at the Garden. It wasn’t an easy night for Sorokin as the Isles lost 5-0.

Sorokin in fact would be on the losing end of his first three games of the season and it took nearly a month into the season for him to record his first win. Had to wonder was Sorokin being overrated as a prospect.

But from that point on Sorokin got better and better. From mid-February on Sorokin went 13-4-2 in the regular season with three shutouts.

Next. Could Be Last Stand for Isles Key Veterans

The door opened for Sorokin when Semyon Varlamov tweaked something the last week of the season and probably because of that he was not at his best in Games 2 and 3 versus Pittsburgh. Sorokin got the net in Game 4 and his play is making a statement that he doesn’t want to give it up.

Islander fans had to wait a long time but Sorokin is rewarding their patience.

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