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Egor Sokolov has become the most decorated player in the history of Belleville Senators hockey. But is it finally time the Ottawa Senators give him an everyday roster spot in the NHL? With almost nothing left to prove at the AHL level, what more must Egor do to get a look? In this article, I will discuss just how dominant Egor’s AHL tenure has been and where I expect to see him playing next season.
Egor Sokolov’s Past Season Reviewed
Egor Sokolov finished his third season with the Belleville Senators this year, once again dominating the AHL. On a weak B-Sens team, Sokolov scored 21 goals and 38 assists for 59 points in 70 games. He finished second in both goals and assists but did lead them in points. Egor Sokolov also received some recognition from his team and the AHL. He was the Belleville Senators representative at the all-star game, the recipient of the MVP award for the Belleville Senators, and the recipient of the Man Of The Year award for the Belleville Senators.
As fans, we normally just see the players in on-ice scenarios or the box score. But we usually don’t get insight into a player’s personality away from the rink. With that in mind, it’s awesome to hear that Sokolov carries himself positively on and off the ice. He has taken on a leadership role in Belleville, helping build and maintain a positive team environment.
Sokolov’s AHL Accolades
This was just another stellar season under the belt of Sokolov and at 23 years old, he has his name written all over the Belleville Senators’ history books. As of the end of the 2022/2023 AHL season, Egor Sokolov leads the team in games (169), goals (55), assists (79), and points (134). As I mentioned, he was also selected to play in the 2023 AHL All-Star showcase. Egor is running out of records to hold for Belleville, and hopefully, he can begin hunting them down in Ottawa.
Reviewing Sokolov’s 5 Game NHL Stint
Towards the end of this season, Egor Sokolov got a look in the NHL with Ottawa. Sokolov had a limited role with the NHL team, playing about six and a half minutes a night. But in this limited ice time, Sokolov put up some impressive advanced statistics to go along with his goal and assist. Below, I will break down some of Sokolov’s numbers.
Egor Sokolov had a CF% of 57.5%, an xG% of 72.37%, and a HDCF% of 79.17% all while starting more in the defensive zone, than the offensive zone. These results were significantly better than Sokolov’s advanced numbers in the 2021/2022 season stint. If there is one takeaway from these statistics, it is that Egor Sokolov showed a dramatic improvement in his on-ice play at the NHL level this season.
Where Should Egor Sokolov Play This Season
I don’t care where he slots in the lineup, but get Egor in the NHL already. He has shown that he is ready to take that step in his career, and he has already paid his dues to the highest degree in the AHL. The only concern around Sokolov’s game has been his skating, and he has shown improvements over the last couple of years. He has a huge frame at 6’3, 222lbs and although he doesn’t always use his size to his advantage, he can take the NHL’s physicality.
He is also determined to continue developing his game to the highest level. Egor decided to spend the summer training in Ottawa this year, motivated to earn a full-time spot in camp. He has also discussed players he likes to study and pick apart pieces of their game he wants to add. Specifically, he likes to watch how Valeri Nichushkin and Tage Thompson use their frames to shield the puck from players.
As discussed in my Senators roster breakdown article, I would like to see Sokolov on the fourth line with Mark Kastelic and Angus Crookshank. While the opportunity would be limited, I think Egor is offensively strong enough to achieve results. He would also be the first player I would elevate from the fourth line if/when injuries occur in the top 9.
I fully hope and expect to see Egor Sokolov take the next step in his hockey career with the Ottawa Senators next season.
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