Islanders goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin has been viewed as one of the top goalies not currently in the NHL for a few years now. His early season performance has done nothing to change that sentiment as he has a 1.47 GAA and a .938 SV% through 18 games so far with CSKA Moscow (and both of those are actually a step back from his 2018-19 numbers).
While it has been a long wait to get the 24-year-old to North America, it appears that move could be on the horizon. Sorokin’s KHL deal is up at the end of the season and Igor Eronko of Sport-Express reports (Twitter link) that the netminder’s sole focus at this point is to get a deal done with the Islanders. He’d undoubtedly be leaving some money on the table in the short term though as he’ll be subject to the entry-level system. Thomas Greiss is a pending UFA and he recently indicated that he isn’t interested in having any discussion about a possible contract extension and if the plan is for Sorokin to come to the NHL next year, it’s quite likely that Greiss’s spot will be the one he takes.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan:
- Rangers center Mika Zibanejad did not accompany the team for their two-game road trip which started tonight in Ottawa, notes Larry Brooks of the New York Post. There was initially some hope that his upper-body injury wouldn’t keep him out for too long but it has now nearly been four weeks since he last suited up. The good news for New York is that he took part in a practice on Thursday, albeit without contact. Head coach David Quinn stated that Zibanejad will need to take part in a full practice and take contact before getting the green light to return which should have him in line to come back sometime next week.
- The Capitals will be without center Nicklas Backstrom for a second straight game due to an upper-body injury, notes Samantha Pell of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The veteran is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, while fellow center Nic Dowd is eligible to be activated off IR from his hand issue, he hasn’t been cleared to return just yet and remains day-to-day.