Ilya Sorokin back in United States: Latest on Islanders’ star netminder

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Ilya Sorokin Islanders
Ilya Sorokin (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Following some uncertain summer months in which his status was uncertain, New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin is back in the United States, his agent, Daniel Milstein, told amNewYork on Thursday.

Stefen Rosner of NYI Hockey Now first reported that the 27-year-old was back in the United States — even to say that he was back on Long Island with training camp just one month away. 

Sorokin had supposedly returned to Russia this offseason to train when rumors began circulating that his home country’s government could drag all Russian-born males aged 18-27 back into military service. One year of service is mandatory for all men who fall in that age range. 

In June, Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov was apprehended by Russian law enforcement and subsequently sent to serve at a base in the Arctic after he was accused of evading his military service. 

Fedotov played for CSKA Moscow, which Sorokin played for, of the KHL — the team remaining a part of Russia’s Defense Ministry regardless of the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago — and in May alerted the team that he would not play to the end of his contract after signing with the Flyers.

While Sorokin’s time with CSKA ended much more amicably, his name was still brought up in an ensuing report from RIA Novosti (h/t The Insider).

“The Army owns the rights to many young [former CSKA Moscow] players who are now playing abroad,” it read. “If they don’t officially resolve the issue with the military enlistment office, then such players as Egor Afanasyev, Artem Grushnikov, Ilya Sorokin, Denis Guryanov, and Dmitry Samorukov could face the same problems that Ivan Fedotov did.”

Back on US soil, Islanders fans won’t have to worry about their star netminder, who continues to develop into one of the best goalies in the NHL.

In what was his first full season in 2021-22, Sorokin went 26-18-8 with a .925 save percentage and 2.40 goals-against average. 

For more on the Islanders and Ilya Sorokin, visit AMNY.com