Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin Calder odds snub is ridiculous

New York Islanders, Ilya Sorokin
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JANUARY 08: Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA looks on against the Dynamo Moscow at the Arena VTB Moscow on January 8, 2020 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images)

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was just another example of the Islanders being completely overlooked again by those who say they pay the most attention to the sport (will get more to that later).

If you’re an Islander fan, your reaction is probably what now?

Well that ‘what now’ is Ilya Sorokin not even being mentioned as a possible Rookie of the Year candidate in 2021.

Yesterday released some of its odds for the upcoming season in regards to individual NHL awards. One of them included the Calder.

There was only one problem: Sorokin’s name was nowhere to be seen.

The Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere was there. So was Sorokin’s long-time friend and Russian counterpart, Igor Shesterkin. Even New Jersey’s Ty Smith was featured on the list; his odds are at 50/1.

No disrespect to any of those players, but it’s ridiculous Sorokin is not there especially the amount of hype he’s generated before and since he arrived.

The lack of continued awareness — and even further to that, respect — the Islanders receive from around the league has been well documented. It came out yesterday too that neither Adam Pelech or Ryan Pulock had odds to potentially win the Norris, AND The Hockey News slated the Isles at 17th in their 2020-21 power rankings. That despite them making the postseason two years in a row and coming off a Conference Finals appearance.

This snubbing though might take the cake.

Sorokin is and was the best goaltender not playing in North America the last five years. His accomplishments in Russia were legendary. Or might some have forgotten he’s joining a situation where he could easily be a top-ten goalie this year with how the Isles are structured defensively.

Wait, there’s more.

He’s also in an organization with a “goalie guru” Mitch Korn and a fantastic coach — Piero Greco — who helped turn Robin Lehner into a top-end netminder and re-established Thomas Greiss as a quality goalie. In fact, Sorokin has been working with both since he arrived to North America back in August.

Pete Jensen of placed Sorokin ranked fourth in his fantasy rankings for rookies this season.

Have you gotten the point yet? No? Ok.

Sorokin is only 25. Pretty much the ripe age for a goalie to show he’s one of the future stars in the sport.

Now it can be argued that he not being the number one — that title belongs to Semyon Varlamov — and probably starting as a backup could provide an argument not to have him in the Calder conversation. But as we’ve seen under Barry Trotz’s reign, he’s willing to go with the hot hand in net. And that means if Sorokin is rolling and Varlamov isn’t, he’d be given top billing.

Sorokin is going to get his chance to shine and prove these “experts” they are wrong, and that he should have been not only in the top five but should have top-three odds.

Obviously some don’t see it that way and it goes back to him not being on yesterday’s list.

It’s wrong. And there are many who will agree, not just ones who bleed orange and blue either.

That’s just how it is when it comes to this organization. Always having to prove the doubters wrong.

We could be sitting here a few months from now with Sorokin being the leader in the clubhouse as the top rookie in the NHL (wouldn’t that be something?). Maybe then the odds will change.

Until then, Sorokin being snubbed will continue to remain ridiculous and only add more fuel to the fire for he, the Isles, and their fans.





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