The New York Islanders and star goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin have agreed to a one-year deal for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, Sorokin’s agent Daniel Milstein announced.
Milstein announced the deal less than eight hours into the league’s 53-hour window, which began Monday at noon ET, allowing teams to ink unsigned draft picks to deals.
Sorokin will not be eligible to play for the Islanders when their postseason begins on Aug. 1 in Toronto against the Florida Panthers, but he is expected to join the team and work out with them.
More importantly, the one-year deal allows Sorokin and the Islanders to burn through his entry-level contract, allowing the netminder to become a restricted free agent this offseason — meaning the Islanders retain his rights — and sign a larger deal with the team to ensure an extended stay on Long Island.
It’s a day Islanders fans everywhere have been waiting for, six years after the team selected the Russian talent in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
During his time playing professionally in Russia, most notably with CSKA Moscow of the KHL, the 24-year-old developed into one of the top goaltending prospects on the planet, offering the promise of the Islanders finally getting a franchise talent to bolster the position for years to come.
Consistency between the pipes has been hard to find for the organization. Since 1984, only Kelly Hrudey and Rick DiPietro have spent more than five years with the team.