With a short window to sign any unsigned draft picks as the start of training camp Monday inches closer, there is still a question mark regarding Islanders goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin.
“We only have to wait about four five days to get the answer,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said on a Zoom call Saturday afternoon. “We just got the transition rules. We’ll certainly speak with representation, see where it takes us. At this point nothing is done.”
Part of the NHL and NHL Players Association’s recent agreement says unsigned draft picks cannot participate in the upcoming 24-team playoff tournament, but they can sign an entry-level deal and have this season count — which would enable them to become a restricted free agent quicker.
It is unclear if Sorokin will be able to join the Islanders for training camp 2.0 if he signs a contract in the next few days. As of Saturday night, seven NHL players had decided not to participate in Phase 3 training camp and Phase 4 — the start of games in hub cities — of the league’s restart plan. — Mollie WalkerFlames defenseman Travis Hamonic was the first to opt out, citing family reasons, and Canucks forward Sven Baertschi also opted out. Oilers defenseman Mike Green and Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer informed their teams Saturday they wouldn’t be playing, and Stars defenseman Roman Polak will also not be playing, having signed in Europe.
In addition, Lamoriello said he wasn’t aware of any Islanders planning to opt out of the NHL’s return-to-play tournament, which would be a penalty-free decision per the new collective bargaining agreement. He also said he would be “surprised” if anybody did.
Islanders coach Barry Trotz said he hopes to let camp dictate all roster decisions, including who will be the starting goaltender against the Panthers in the best-of-five qualifying series beginning on Aug. 1.
“I don’t think I can make a bad decision,” Trotz said of his two netminders. “Both of them have had good success against the Panthers, both of them had identical-type years. From that standpoint, I’m just going to let it play out.
“They’re both preparing very diligently at this point. That’s one area I’m not worried about a whole lot right now.”