The (Ottawa) Ottawa Senators may already be full of talented young players, the source has not yet dried up.
We already know Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzl, Drake Batherson, Josh Norris, Alex Formenton, Eric Branstrom. Even Shane Pinto and Jacob Bernard-Docker saw some action in the NHL before last season.
The darling of the rookie camp in Ottawa though is a Russian player, who was overlooked twice in the draft, and who literally had to learn to skate in the junior ranks.
After a season in Belleville, in the American League, of which he was the best scorer, Egor Sokolov finally arrives in the federal capital. With “a real shot” in his arsenal, his teammate calls Cole Reinhardt and an irresistible offensive disposition.
On Saturday, against the Canadians, he didn’t put his name on the scoresheet, but three shots released from the enclave didn’t give Joe Verbetic a cold sweat, designated to defend CH’s plaque.
an admirable story
Sokolov’s story arouses admiration. Originally from Yekaterinburg, West Siberia, he moved to his home in North America at the age of 17. Upon his arrival in the Maritimes, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, a team he joined the QMJHL, drew the brutal realization that he had a pathetic skater on his hands.
So much so that after his first season, the organization asked their skating specialist to review his technique from top to bottom. On the athletic website, his agent stated that his client has everything it takes to become an NHL player: over massive build – 6’4″ and 240 lbs, although he weighs in today. 216 -, a lightning fire and a sharp spirit of the game. But of course, the skate was not there.
We must admit that Sokolov did his homework. In his last campaign at Cape Breton, he scored 46 goals in 52 games. And on Saturday, against CH, defenseman William Trudeau saw what he was doing when the Sense striker bypassed him to go over the net in the middle of the third period.
“control the game”
Defender Maxens Guinet has been working with Sokolov for several days with the Senators, first in the development camp, then these days in the rookie camp. But they have seen the Russians working for a long time. With Val-d’Or Foreurs, he got the job of facing them for three years on the Quebec circuit.
“They really experienced a lot of progress, it’s quite impressive,” Guinet, author of Goal and Assist, said on Saturday.
He’s a big guy, he has a great shot, he defends the puck well… he’s a guy who can control the game in his own way.
Maxence Guinet, Ottawa Senators teammate and rescue worker
In the short term, its progress will likely continue at Belleville. At least that’s what coach Troy Mann has indicated over the past few days. The Senators, after all, have been patient with Batherson and Norris, and both are now enjoying success in the NHL.
On Saturday, Sokolov formed a trio with Angus Cruikshank and Ridley Gregg, two other key prospects for the club. The unit was not an aggressive engine in Sense’s victory, but “this trio can and will produce for us”, promised Mann after the meeting. The young senator will also meet with CH’s recruits starting Monday in Montreal.
This doesn’t stop the Sokolov effect is already very real in Ottawa, both with fans and with club management.
In front of reporters after the team’s activities, GM Pierre Dorian was particularly enthusiastic about the winger, and player development director Sean Donovan compared him to Mark Stone.
As a result, there is nothing to offend the main interested party. When he arrived in Nova Scotia four years ago, speaking English, he is now fully fluent in Sheila Copps’ mother tongue. And his casual interview runs contrary to the tradition established by his compatriots since the first passage west in the late 1980s.
Nevertheless, in an interview, again with The Athletic, Troy Mann insisted: There are many players who “stole the show” on their first skating in the NHL, but who had already moved to the American League in November.
However, there has been damage in Ottawa. The Sokolov effect is already being felt. According to journalist Mark Brassard, the nickname “Sharkolov” is so much “because he’s like a shark circling the opposing net”. Law, paved the way.
Whether we like it or not, it’s still pretty eloquent.
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