Throughout the 2022-23 NHL season, the NY Islanders saw a lot of great play from their top players. However, perhaps none were more important than the Islanders goalie, Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin had an incredible year and played perhaps the largest part in getting the Islanders as far as they went. Although the Islanders' offense didn't always help him out, Sorokin did all he could to keep the Islanders in the game, and that should not be overlooked.
*Read our previously Published player report cards:
-Sebastian Aho | Josh Bailey | Mathew Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck |Noah Dobson | Pierre Engvall | Hudson Fasching | Simon Holmstrom | Bo Horvat|Ross Johnston|Anders Lee|Matt Martin|Scott Mayfield|Brock Nelson|J.G. Pageau |Kyle Palmieri|Zach Parise|Adam Pelech|Alexander Romanov|Ryan Pulock
NY Islanders 2022-23 player report card: Ilya Sorokin
Sorokin played his first season with the Islanders back in 2020-21. He played in 22 games that year, starting in 21 games, finishing the season 13-6-3. Last season, was Sorokin's first taking on a major load of the work. He started 52 games, finishing 26-18-8. On the season, he had a GAA of 2.40 and finished with a save percentage of .925%.
This season, Sorokin continued to see an increase in workload. He started 60 out of the 62 games that he played in, finishing 31-22-7. He allowed 140 goals on the season and had a GAA of 2.34. Sorokin's save percentage would stay about the same as last year's, at .924%. He tallied an NHL-best six shutouts on the season and even is partly responsible for the Penguins firing Ron Hextall after picking up an insane save when the Islanders met the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the season.
Looking at the numbers only tells a small margin of why Sorokin is the Islanders' most valuable player. He single-handedly kept the Islanders in many games this season with his incredible net play. When the Islanders' offense would fall asleep, Sorokin would do everything he could to keep them in the game. However, he wasn't perfect either and had holes in his game like everyone else. Perhaps, his biggest is his positioning and sometimes not being aggressive enough.
All in all, Sorokin's play was a major part in getting the Islanders as far as they did this year. While the offense may have fallen asleep, or underperformed at times, Sorokin played hard from beginning to end. Although he wasn't perfect, he undoubtedly was the best player this season for the Islanders. Sorokin being named a Vezina Trophy finalist 100% proves all of that. With that said, Sorokin gets an A+ on the season.