The Ottawa Senators have inked one of their 2020 draft picks, signing Egor Sokolov to a three-year, entry-level contract. Senators GM Pierre Dorion explained why the team chose to pick Sokolov in the second round despite being passed over in his first two years of eligibility:
To Egor’s credit, he’s worked especially hard for this. Despite initially being undrafted, he applied himself to improve many facets of his game to the point where he led the Quebec league in goals last season. We were pleased to be able to select him where we did last month and look forward to seeing his career progress.
Now 20, Sokolov is eligible to play in the AHL this season should the team feel it is in his best interest. The 6’4″ behemoth is still not a strong skater, but scored 46 goals and 92 points in just 52 games for the Cape Breton Eagles last season, showing he could set up his teammates just as well as he could release his heavy shot.
Even though he was selected 61st overall, it’s hard to know if Sokolov will ever be an impact player in the NHL. If he can improve his skating enough and continue developing his puck protection skills, he could be a legitimate top-six weapon, but there’s also a chance he won’t be able to keep up with the play at the next level.