For the past few years, goaltending has been a massive strength for the New York Islanders. This season was no different. Over the course of his four year contract, Semyon Varlamov was among one of the better starting goalies in the league. Now in his final year of his deal, Varlamov became a legitimate backup to his partner, Vezina candidate, Ilya Sorokin.
*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|Ilya Sorokin
NY Islanders 2022-23 player report card: Semyon Varlamov
In 23 games, 22 of them were starts, the Russian netminder capped off a solid year. He played to a respectable .913 SV% as well as averaging 2.70 goals against per game, a smidge better than his .911 SV% and 2.91 GAA last year.
It's clear that the 35 year old Varlamov still has a ton left in the tank, and can be relied upon when asked. In his career in the blue and orange, he's notched 13 shutouts, including a league-leading seven in 2020-21. Not only that, but his ability to make game-changing saves goes without saying
It will be interesting to see whether Varlamov returns to the Islanders for the 2023-24 season. He was a sought after trade piece during the trade deadline this season, but Lou Lamoriello decided it was best to keep him. He's seemingly found a home on Long Island, stating how he did not want to be traded, as well as express a desire to re-sign. It's up to them to see if the price is right keep the veteran.
The casual hockey fan typically doesn't see the importance of a backup goalie, but but the soon-to-be free agent Varlamov's presence has been beneficial to this club. If he comes back on a two-year deal for a lower price, he'll be an invaluable piece. Because of his stable play, and an irreplaceable piece to this locker room, Varlamov receives a B for his 2022-23 season.