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New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: Star KHL goalie Ilya Sorokin at #9

Should we believe in KHL goalies?

Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

We often talk about the variability of goalie stats, particularly prospect goalie stats. And the KHL has produced some weird ones, including the familiar Mikko Koskinen, 2014-15 Gagrin Cup champion and playoff MVG. What to make of Ilya Sorokin? He was named the KHL's top goalie for the entire 2015-16 season, and backstopped a CSKA playoff run all the way to Game 7 of the Gagrin Cup final. He's been fantastic, and he followed that up with a 25-save shutout of Norway in his only start at the World Championship.

He's just 20, so all of this is very good and promising. He's in the KHL and signed for a reported two more years, so all of this is for thought and hope down the road.

Those factors -- young talent vs. the mystery of prospects and KHL-tied players -- caused a range of rankings from our panel to land him at #9 on our Top 25 Islanders Under 25 ranking.

How We Voted (and a Little Why)

King (CIL) Keith Mike B. McNally Garik Dominik Leboff Les
8 8
11 14
12 9 4


A goalie I am legitimately excited about. Let's hope some kind of transfer agreement happens. So tough to get a kid to come over and play for an ELC when he could make way better money at home. He had 10 shutouts in like 30 games. Amazing.

David King (CanadianIslesLifer):

Sorokin is the best goalie prospect Snow has drafted to date. At just 20 years of age, he led his team to the KHL playoff finals, and was just recently recognized by the KHL as its best goalie for the season.

Coming out of a pool that has done well developing goalies, Sorokin was the top-ranked Russian goalie prospect for the 2014 draft. The Islander selected him in the 3rd round. Sorokin has done nothing but impress at both the junior level and in the KHL. He hasn't played in the NHL yet, but Sorokin has the potential to be an NHL starter. He has 2 years left on his KHL contract, but the NHL has no transfer agreement with Russia. This means, the Islanders are under to pressure to sign him to an ELC, but they'll hold his NHL rights until he's is eligible for UFA,.

Mike B.:

VOODOO. But Sorokin does the voodoo he do so well. His historic season in the KHL at just 20 years old has fans drooling... and naturally worried that he'll never come to North America. He could be a first-rate starter if and when he does make the trip.


Goalie statistics in the KHL are off the wall, but there is still something to be said about a goalie who finishes 2nd in a major professional hockey league in Save %. Sorokin backed it up during a long playoff run. Looks solid.


Sorokin is the best goalie prospect due to playing the best in a top league, but KHL statistics, particularly goalie stats, are REALLY weird. He could easily fall back to earth next year. Fortunately, Isles get to wait for 2 more years of data before they can even try to bring Sorokin over.


Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.

Les Mavus (HockeyGoalieEh):

He was the best goalie in the KHL, which is the closest a league can get without actually being the NHL. Yes, KHL. numbers are often weird, but the Islanders prospect pool doesn't have nearly the luster that it did last year with many, many individuals underperforming. He get's fourth largely by default.

Previously in the Top 25 Under 25