NY Islanders: Ilya Sorokin named one of the league's top goaltenders by NHL Network

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

As the NHL Network has done for the past few off-seasons, the analysts have created a list of the top players at each position. Throughout August, lists were compiled of the top 20 centers, wings, and defensemen, along with ten goaltenders. Of all four lists, only one player on the NY Islanders roster made the cut. Ilya Sorokin.

The Isles netminder was named the third best goaltender in the league behind Andrei Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin, finishing ahead of Connor Hellebuyck and Juuse Saros to round out the top five. Last year, Sorokin was ranked fifth on this list, moving up two places behind his fellow countrymen. Along with being named third on this list, last week, NHL fantasy reporter Anna Dua named Sorokin as her top goaltender in fantasy hockey for the upcoming season.

While Sorokin finished third of the three Russian netminders at the top, an argument can be made for Sorokin deserving the top spot. Sorokin finished as the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy last year, finishing behind Linus Ullmark. Of the typical goaltender statistics (SV%, GAA, SO), Sorokin topped Vasilevskiy and Shesterkin in all three categories. However, where Sorokin trails the two are Vasilevskiy's two Stanley Cup rings/Vezina Trophy, and Shesterkin's Vezina in 2021-22.

As Sorokin was deservingly named among the best at his position, no other Islander is mentioned at any other position. So, a question that arises is how far would the list need to go to see another Islander mentioned?

The likely candidates would be Bo Horvat and Mat Barzal at center or Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock on defense. It's plausible that we could see Horvat or Barzal enter the conversation next season if the Islanders manage to generate more offense than they have over the past few years.

After a challenging move across the continent, Horvat has become more comfortable with his new teammates and surroundings and hopes to get back to his form from the first half of the season with the Vancouver Canucks. We haven't seen Barzal's best since his rookie campaign when he won the Calder Trophy, and with a new contract beginning this upcoming season, it would be a fantastic time for him to prove he's deserving of being the team's highest-paid player.