Egor Sokolov’s time in the QMJHL and Cape Breton is coming to an end.
The twenty year old highly skilled scoring forward is destined to play pro hockey.
After being passed over on two separate occasions Sokolov will finally hear his name called at this fall’s NHL Entry Draft.
Sokolov’s journey to the Q and subsequent impact on the Eagles organization and community is truly remarkable.
You can look at the numbers, but what Egor Sokolov has done away from the ice throughout his time in Canada reveals his true character personality and unrelenting drive to reach his full potential as a player and person.
You may not recognize Sokolov these days he’s roughly twenty pounds lighter than when the QMJHL season came to a grinding halt.
His appearance may have changed, but his smile and zest for life is unmistakable.
No matter what Sokolov has done on the ice, the critics were like
vultures always lurking and preying on his perceived weaknesses rather than looking at all of his positive attributes.
Skating, fitness level and weight seemed to be a reoccurring criticism that almost became inescapable for the ultra talented Russian froward.
It’s clear you can’t teach what Egor Sokolov can bring to the game.
Creativity, imagination, physical dominance and an amazing set of hands and scoring ability in tight.
“He can’t keep up.”
“He doesn’t skate well enough.”
“He’s too out of shape and overweight.”
Trust me Sokolov and those that are closest to him have heard it all.
Sokolov has and will continue to prove all the critics wrong on his path to pro hockey.
On junior hockey’s highest stage, the World Junior’s last January, Sokolov turned in a dominant effort and proved he could skate with the big boys.
You see Sokolov would do just about anything in his power to reach his dreams.
He’s driven by the dream.
He didn’t lose the weight to prove people wrong or right.
He lost all of the weight and has worked on his skating tirelessly over the last three seasons to give him every opportunity to get to the next level.
All Egor Sokolov ever wanted was an opportunity.
The highly skilled forward has certainly earned everything that comes his way.
If you are interested or fixated on the numbers, the natural goal scorer increased his goal totals by ten every season.
The average hockey fan sees the numbers and point totals, but they have no idea how far the Yekaterinburg, Russia product has come.
It’s well documented how Sokolov gave an emotional speech near the end of his first season in Cape Breton during an awards banquet.
By all accounts there wasn’t a dry eye in the house after he spoke.
Every step of the way throughout his journey on and off the ice Egor Sokolov has taken advantage of every opportunity to improve himself and his surroundings.
From learning English, to taking the time with every fan, to delivering groceries to those in need during the early stages of the pandemic, Sokolov did it all with the same enthusiasm and smile ear to ear.
In three short years the larger than life personality and young man’s talent on and off the ice have blossomed.
What you see is what you get from Egor Sokolov.
The fun loving kid from a large industrial city in Russian is embracing every aspect of his path in the game.
Nevertheless, don’t let his charismatic smile fool you.
Egor Sokolov is relentless in his pursuit to reach the NHL.
Sokolov like so many other 2020 NHL Draft Prospects are in a holding pattern waiting to see what direction the franchise who will be lucky enough to draft him suggests.
Europe seems like a viable option for the 6’5 forward, however with the AHL set to start December 1, one could see Sokolov reporting to that level and continuing to work in small group skills and development sessions put on by the organization.
A return to his second home seems highly unlikely.
Unfortunately that ship has sailed.
For those of us who were lucky enough to see his progression as a player and person over the past three years, it seems like we were watching a star in the making.
Egor Sokolov’s journey in the QMJHL has ended, but his impact on the league, Cape Breton and the Eagles organization will certainly leave a lasting impression.