Goalie Ilya Sorokin, a third round draft pick of the Islanders in 2014, was named the Kontinental Hockey League's best netminder for the 2015-16 season, as well as to the league's All Star team.
The 20-year-old Sorokin went 17-7-4 for CSKA in the regular season and 15-5 in the playoffs, leading his team to Game 7 of the Gagarin Cup final where it lost to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He finished with 10 shutouts (plus three more in the post-season) and a .953 save percentage. Sorokin in the youngest player to win the league's top goalie prize.
At the KHL's awards ceremony yesterday, Sorokin walked away with not only the best goalie award and one of the five Golden Helmets as an All Star, but also an award certificate presented by Russian insurance agency SOGOZ. The lovely prize package seems to include a nice plaque with his picture on it and a fancy personal insurance policy, good at home and abroad. Let's see the Mark Messier Leadership Award top that!
Here's a video of Sorokin accepting his awards. You can put the English captions on, but don't expect much.
Like I said:
Only slightly better is an interview he did with his team website about his season, his World Championships experience (where he backed up starter Sergei Bobrovski on the bronze medal-winning team) and his future, which is where the Islanders (maybe) come in.
- How important player for individual prizes?
- Team results - the most important thing. But these prizes also have a great price, the memory of a lifetime. To me, they are important.
Sorokin has two years left on his current contract with the KHL. When asked about his status, that's his answer. In any event, don't expect him to come to North America any sooner than 2018. It wouldn't be the first time the Islanders have waited out a KHL contract situation.
To earn this kind of hardware at 20 is impressive, and we'll all be keeping a close eye him. Let's hope the eyes the Islanders have on him aren't filtered through unreliable web browser translation software.