If you’re a betting man or woman you might want to throw a few dollars down on New York Islanders rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin to win the Calder Trophy, according to sports betting network VSiN.
With oddsmakers at BetMGM and DraftKings giving Sorokin 27/1 odds to win the rookie of the year nod, VSiN’s Andy MacNeil wrote recently that Sorokin is a good value bet for the upcoming season. New York Rangers rookies Igor Shesterkin and Alexis Lafreniere both received better odds for taking home the award, but that makes them the less appealing bet.
While Semyon Varlamov will be the Islanders starting goaltender to begin the year, there is a chance that Ilya Sorokin could surpass the veteran netminder for the starting role during the course of the season. The likelihood of that really happening is unclear, but it’s that prospect, writes MacNeil, that makes him the better bet.
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If Shesterkin is a favorite then it’s only logical that oddsmakers should at least give Sorokin an outside chance. As far as Lafreniere goes, only five first-overall picks have won the Calder Trophy since 2000. It’s been awarded to a goaltender three times in that same span.
Ilya Sorokin will be one of the most intriguing storylines heading into training camp and throughout the COVID-19 shortened season. He has been considered by Islanders fans as a white whale of sorts considering how highly he was touted in the KHL, but it had always seemed like a longshot that he would ever make it to North America.
Now he’s here.
In fact, he has been in North America for some time now. He was with the Islanders in Toronto and Edmonton during their run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Sorokin even practiced with the extras during the playoff tournament.
“He’s a really hard-working guy,” Michael Dal Colle said about Sorokin in September. “When he got here, obviously he didn’t really know anyone. He’s worked a lot off-ice, on his English. He’s adjusted really well and he works hard in practice.”
Outside of the odds, Islanders fans would forgo a Calder Trophy for Sorokin if they could get a guarantee that he would pan out to the goaltender that everyone expects him to be. The Islanders haven’t had this much hype surrounding a goaltending prospect since the days of Rick DiPietro.
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