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New York Islanders

Islanders Ilya Sorokin: New York’s New Jacob DeGrom



New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin in warmups before game against Florida Panthers (Courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin is having a Vezina-caliber season. He ranks third in the NHL with a 2.25 GAA and second with a .927 SV% and three shutouts.

The problem is in 33 games, 31 starts, Ilya Sorokin only has 15 wins, good for a .484 win percentage.

The goaltender leading the Vezina race is Boston Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark. He sits in first place with a 1.92 GAA and a .936 SV%.

Guess how many wins he has?

Ullmark has 23 wins in 27 starts, an .852 winning percentage.

And yes, Boston is second in the NHL scoring 3.76 goals per game, giving Ullmark and backup Jeremy Swayman plenty of support.

The Islanders have scored 3.02 goals per game this season but have given Sorokin just 2.83 goals of support when he’s been between the pipes.

He’s not getting any “run” support, the same issue MLB pitcher Jacob DeGrom faced over the entirety of his Mets career, particularly in his best season, back in 2018.

That year, DeGrom won the Cy Young, the equivalent of the Vezina, but it did not come due to wins.

In 32 starts, DeGrom posted a league-low 1.70 ERA, comparable to a goals-against average, and ranked third in baseball with a .912 WHIP (Walks & Hits per Innings Pitched), similar to a save percentage.

But what about wins?

DeGrom ranked tied for 12th in that category with 10, the only category that ultimately matters in sports.

The Mets finished the season fourth in the National League, missing the playoffs, with a 77-85 record.

Now the lack of run support for DeGrom stepped over his entire MLB career in New York, as we will now see if his new team, the Texas Rangers, can give him more of a chance to win–likely not.

Over Sorokin’s last five games, Sorokin has taken his game to an even more elite level.

He owns a 1.99 GAA with a .932 SV% but has just two wins. The Islanders have scored just 1.4 goals per him over that span and 2.83 goals per game this season.

Sorokin is having his best NHL season. When he first came over from Russia, he showed off the potential but needed some time to get his feet wet in the NHL.

Now, in his third year, his first as the main guy, he is one of the best netminders in the sport, the comparison between him and DeGrom is incredibly evident.

Without Sorokin, the Islanders would not be in the second wild-card spot but would be fighting for the chance at drafting Connor Bedard this summer instead.