Ilya Sorokin

New York Islanders
Photo courtesy of KHL.ru

Fantasy Summary

Fantastically athletic, Sorokin looks like a young Sergei Bobrovsky in a lot of ways. He can make some unbelievable stops with his great pushes and terrific reflexes.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 9.5
NHL Certainty 9.5
Country RUS
Position G
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth August 4, 1995
Height 6‘2”
Weight 176 lbs
Drafted 2014 Round 3; Overall: 78

Observations

July 2020 – Eight hours after NHL teams were allowed to negotiate with unsigned draft picks, the Isles landed their No. 1 prospect. Ending months of speculation, Sorokin left the KHL for a one-year deal with a $925,000 AAV. It’s a typical contract for 24-year-olds, although Sorokin is atypical after five spectacular campaigns for CKSA Moscow, capping his tenure with a 1.50 GAA and .935 save percentage. The 6-2 athletic, butterfly-style stopper can join the Islanders’ now-underway training camp, but is ineligible for the playoff tournament. Signing his pact now lops a year off his entry-level deal and allows him to become an RFA next year. Mark Allan

June 2020 – The hope of the prized goaltender signing a 2019-20 contract was dashed recently when the NHL said it would not allow that to happen. With that potential impetus gone, the Sorokin contract watch continues. Mark Allan

May 2020 – In spite of widespread speculation, Sorokin has still not signed a North American contract, which he could have done once his KHL deal expired April 30. Media and fans are left to speculate whether the Isles and their top netminding prospect haven’t been able to reach agreement or whether the team is waiting for more information about next season’s salary cap limit, for example. Stay tuned. Mark Allan

April 2020 – Anticipation is growing on Long Island after the Isles’ top goaltending prospect reportedly told CKSA he won’t sign a new contract after his KHL deal expires at the end of the month. The 24-year-old has nothing to prove in Russia, having compiled a 121-40-21 record for the Moscow powerhouse previously known as Central Red Army. His worst GAA was 1.61 and his lowest save percentage was .929. He was an all-star five times and the playoff MVP in 2019 as well as earning a gold, a silver and three bronze medals between the Olympics, world championships and WJC. Not overly tall at 6-2, the third-round pick is an athletic, butterfly-style goalie with excellent side-to-side agility and lightning reflexes. Countryman Semyon Varlamov is under contract for three more seasons to be a mentor. Mark Allan

April 2020 – Reports out of Russia indicate that Sorokin has rejected a lucrative extension with CSKA and will sign with the Islanders upon the end of his current KHL deal on April 30th. Sorokin has been exceptional as the starter for the top-flight KHL squad for five seasons. He has all the markings of a high-end starter in the NHL. Look for him to follow a similar transition as Shestyorkin did a season ago – Start in the American League, dominate, force a call-up and force his way into the starters’ role. If you missed out on Shesty, don’t make the same mistake with Sorokin. Cam Robinson

February 2020 – The best goaltender not in the NHL. The holder of ludicrously good KHL stats. The 78th-overall pick of the 2014 NHL entry draft. The future No. 1 netminder for the New York Islanders? Sorokin is many things, although there’s some doubt about the final item on that list. All hell broke loose in Islanderland in mid-February when rumors surfaced that he had been traded to the Blackhawks. Countering that was a report that he was close to an agreement with the Isles. Since GM Lou Lamoriello notoriously plays his cards close to his chest, we’ll have to wait to see where the 24-year-old Russian lands when his KHL contract expires at the close of the season. The NYIs have three more campaigns of countryman Semyon Varlamov, but 34-year-old Thomas Greiss will be a UFA. Mark Allan

January 2020 – The Islanders are reportedly taking calls for goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin. This is the beginning stage of trade talks on the 24-year-old Russian. He currently plays for CSKA Moscow of the KHL. He’s having a fine season on the star-studded CSKA Moscow team. With a GAA of 1.62 and SV% of 0.930, those are stellar numbers even for a KHL goalie. He splits duties with former Rockford IceHogs, Lars Johansson. His contract ends after this season in the KHL, so he can be a great option for a future goalie for another team. Naftali Clinton

April 2019 – Sorokin has been shutting down the KHL for his entire career. This season he put up a brick wall with a 1.16 goals-against-average and .940 save percentage. Unfortunately for the Islanders, there is still one year left on Sorokin’s KHL contract. There are reports that Sorokin could seek a buyout from his KHL team to come over to New York next season. The details of the buyout seem like it could be tough to iron out so I would take a wait and see approach. Regardless of Sorokin making the trip across the pond next season, it would be in your best interest to hold on to him in your keeper leagues. The Islanders have a good young team as evidenced by their run this season, and Sorokin looks to be their goaltender of the future. Nate Duffett

June 2018 – Statistically, it was another brilliant season for Sorokin. Though his .931 save percentage is nothing to sneeze at, it only ranks 10th in the KHL – as only one regular goalie in the league has a save percentage below .920. He did boast a razor-thin 1.59 GAA (third best) and eight white washings (second best) and was nominated as an all-star in the league. He continued his fine play into the postseason as well – of the 12 total shutouts in the KHL playoffs, Sorokin authored five of them. CSKA made it to the Gagarin Cup Final before falling short to Ak Bars Kazan in five games. Sorokin remains a high-upside, very athletic goaltender. There’s still some work to do with this positioning and losing his net, as well as his glove mechanics. He doesn’t play the game with his feet set very much, which can leave goalies vulnerable to leaky goals. He has time to hone his skills, as he is stuck in the KHL through 2020. Michael Farkas

July 2017 – Sorokin has signed a new three-year deal with CSKA (KHL). To be clear, this is not an extension in the traditional sense; the contract will take him through 2020. Already a high stakes gamble due to his style, the athletic Russian is likely to keep Islanders fans in suspense for a few more seasons. Michael Farkas

June 2017 – Sorokin built upon a fine 2015-16 campaign. Not a lot of goalies can yield half a goal more per game and still finish third in his league in GAA, but Sorokin’s 1.61 GAA bucks that idea. Sorokin plays for a very strong CSKA Moscow club, which certainly helps him. CSKA was ousted in the second round of the KHL playoffs, a playoff that saw him split some starts with Viktor Fasth down the line. Sorokin closed his season by backing up Andrei Vasilevskiy at the World Championships.

Sorokin plans to honor his KHL contract that runs through the end of 2018. After that, the Isles will likely have an opportunity to bring him over and have him compete immediately. At the present time, the biggest obstacle for Sorokin in terms of personnel in the organization is probably fellow prospect Linus Soderstrom. The two could not be more opposite in terms of style if they tried. Mike Farkas

November 2016 – This may go down as one of the best third round picks in NHL history of the Islanders can get Sorokin in the net sometime in the future. As with any Russian player comes the “Russian factor” but I am sure the Islanders staff will do everything they can in the next year or two to get him signed. Sorokin attended Islanders development camp in July, and the reviews were outstanding. A traditional Russian goalie blessed with size, quickness, and great technical ability, this is a player who has starting goalie written all over him. Cut from the mold of Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky, if the Islanders can get Sorokin signed, this will be their goalie of the future. Arguably the most important and talented prospect in the Islanders system, if you are an owner of Sorokin in any keeper league you are sitting on a gold mine. If he comes to North America! Kevin Pedersen

May 2016 – Ilya Sorokin had arguably the best season a goaltender has ever had in the KHL. He finished the regular season with a 1.06 GAA and a .953 save percentage in 28 games played. That is the second best save percentage ever posted in the KHL, and Sorokin did it as a 20 year old.  While he split time in the regular season with former NHLer Viktor Fasth, Sorokin was given the starting job for the post season.  He did not disappoint, posting a .945 save percentage. He led CSKA Moscow to Game 7 of the Gagarin Cup Finals, where they finally fell to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Brent Craswell

February 2016 – Sorokin has not slowed down and is still playing out of his mind for CSKA Moskva (Moscow) in the KHL. He has a 0.99 goals against average and a 0.956 save percentage in 27 games. CSKA has played 58 games, so even with Sorokin playing so well he is only splitting the starts with the other starter Viktor Fasth. It is great to see him not slow down but these numbers are impossible to keep up forever. Pat Quinn

Nov 2015 – Sorokin is playing wondrous in the KHL at the moment. He has a 7-2-1 record in 10 games sporting an insane 0.959 save percentage, 0.96 goals against average, and five shutouts. He has let in nine goals on 219 shots to put his start into perspective. Recently he signed a new three year deal with CSKA Moskva that should keep him in the KHL until the 2018 season but the wait should be worth it. Additionally Halak’s contract is up in that year too, paving the way for him to have an opportunity. Pat Quinn

The question that looms is: how mature will his game get? While he is the king of acrobatic stops, he also makes a lot of work for himself on a nightly basis. Like Marc-Andre Fleury did in the QMJHL, Sorokin makes a 30-save night into a 37-save night by overplaying shots and losing his net. His rebound control is haphazard and he burps up a lot of pucks…unlike the KHL game in some respects, the NHL game is played between the hashmarks, so those pucks can’t be left lying around with the expectation of success. He has elite upside, but still very much remains a boom or bust prospect.

May 2015 – Sorokin is a skilled young Russian goal keeper with pretty good size. He is coming off a season where he played for four teams in the KHL and its minor league affiliate MHL. He also looked pretty average for Russia at the 2015 World Junior Championships, ultimately losing the starting role to Igor Shesterkin. He was traded mid-season from Metallurg Novokuznetsk to CSKA Moskva, where he played a back-up role, and when sent down to their MHL affiliate Krasnaya Armiya Moskva put up very impressive numbers. He played seven games in the playoffs for Armiya Moskva registering a 0.928 save percentage. He is a project and there could be starter potential, but it is too early to tell. Pat Quinn


Stats

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2012-2013 Metallurg Novokuznetsk KHL 5 2.77 .919 |        
  Metallurg Novokuznetsk Nadezhda Cup 3 3.03 .923 |        
  Kuznetskie Medvedi MHL 27 2.57 .914 | Playoffs 3 3.40 .898
 2013-2014 Metallurg Novokuznetsk KHL 27 2.90 .911 |        
  Metallurg Novokuznetsk Nadezhda Cup 1 2.00 .947 |        
  Kuznetskie Medvedi MHL 4 2.69 .917 | Playoffs 2 4.04 .800
 2014-2015 Metallurg Novokuznetsk KHL 22 3.25 .906 |        
  Kuznetskie Medvedi MHL 1 4.00 .800 |        
  CSKA Moskva KHL 6 1.31 .937 | Playoffs 0 - -
  Krasnaya Armiya Moskva MHL 3 1.31 .949 | Playoffs 7 2.15 .928
  Russia U20 WJC-20 3 2.66 .886 |        
  Russia U20 (all) International-Jr 6 2.82 - |        
  Russia EHT 1 2.00 .923 |        
  Russia (all) International 1 2.00 .923 |        
 2015-2016 CSKA Moskva KHL 28 1.06 .953 | Playoffs 20 1.32 .945
  Zvezda Moskva VHL 1 2.01 .917 |        
  Russia EHT 4 2.89 .906 |        
  Russia WC 3 0.00 1.000 |        
  Russia (all) International 8 1.67 - |        
 2016-2017 CSKA Moskva KHL 39 1.61 .929 | Playoffs 7 2.03 .916
  Russia EHT 5 - - |        
  Russia WC 2 0.00 1.000 |        
  Russia (all) International 7 - - |        
 2017-2018 CSKA Moskva KHL 37 1.59 .931 | Playoffs 18 1.52 .930
  Russia EHT 3 1.33 .951 |        
  Russia OG 1 3.00 .857 |        
  Russia WC 0 - - |        
  Russia (all) International 3 2.14 .926 |        
 2018-2019 CSKA Moskva KHL 40 1.16 .940 | Playoffs 20 1.19 .947
  Russia EHT 4 1.65 .931 |        
  Russia WC 0 - - |        
  Russia (all) International 4 - - |        
 2019-2020 CSKA Moskva KHL 40 1.50 .935 | Playoffs 4 0.73 .966
  Russia EHT 3 1.49 .940 |        
  Russia (all) International 3 1.49 .940 |        

Highlights