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Islanders: 3 roster spots open for competition and who’s in the running

Robin Salo is interviewed after being selected 46th overall by the New York Islanders (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Robin Salo is interviewed after being selected 46th overall by the New York Islanders (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Starting Goalie

Why There’s Competition?

I don’t think the Islanders move either of their two goalies. Unless they can find a great trade package for Varlamov and that new destination isn’t part of his 16-team no-trade list. Both Varly and Sorokin will be with the Isles in 2021-22.

But with how Ilya Sorokin played last season, he’ll certainly challenge Varlamov for the starter role.

2021-22 Stats

Semyon Varlamov: 19-11-4 // 2.04 GAA // 0.929 SV% // 7 SO
Ilya Sorokin: 13-6-3 // 2.17GAA // 0.918SV% // 3 SO

Looking at those numbers you’d think that Varlamov will be the start in 21-22, but if there’s anything we know about Trotz since he’s joined the Islanders it’s that he likes to run a 50/50 split with his goalies. Here’s the breakdown of starts since 18-19 under Trotz:

18-19: Lehner 52% // Greiss 48%
19-20: Varlamov 57% // Greiss 43%
20-21: Varlamov: 63% // Sorokin 38%

The only outlier here is that Sorokin was a rookie last year and thus unproven at the NHL level. I know you might look at Greiss’s 43% in 19-20, but he wasn’t having a good year and the season was unexpectedly cut short at 68 games.

Both Sorokin and Varlamov will compete to be the team’s number one in 21-22, there’s no doubt. And maybe neither get it. Right?

Again, Barry has alternated goalies ever since he’s been on the Island. Why would he change that now? It’s important to remember that this should be the first full season in three years having two 1A goalies is a huge bonus. So while they will compete in camp I think all they’ll actually compete for is who starts on opening night.

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