Egor Sokolov is ahead of schedule. That really shouldn’t come as a surprise given his inspirational journey in the game.
The young Russian power forward is off to a great start at the American Hockey League level. Sokolov’s climb to the professional ranks is well documented, but he continues to gain notoriety due in large part to his fun-loving personality, unwavering passion for life and the game of hockey.
In 21 games this season with the Belleville Senators, the 20-year-old dynamic scoring winger has 10 goals and four assists which is good for second in team scoring and tied for second in goals amongst rookies in the circuit.
Sokolov has always had a knack for finding the back of the net, but it’s his overall approach to the game that has changed the most over time. There’s no question he’s put in the time on his skating with the arguably the Maritimes best power skating instructor Jill Plandowski and has worked hard on his fitness, but that journey started a few years back when he was at the crossroads.
The pivot point in any journey has a foundation built on adversity. Egor Sokolov has faced his fair share of that. You see it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see a player like Sokolov flourishing under the likes of Troy Mann. Sokolov has grown in every facet of the game. The adversity never defined his path, it strengthened. He’s accountable in all three zones and takes pride in making all of the important subtle plays that build instant trust amongst coaches. From one dimensional scorer to complete player, Sokolov has made it happen every step of the way.
Stats are stats and they matter a lot in the pro game, but it’s his overall play that could warrant a late season call up to the Senators.
Mann doesn’t necessarily get the credit he always deserves for the job he has done in Belleville. His work with all of Senators top prospects shouldn’t be overlooked. Mann is a winner and has played a massive role in building a newfound winning culture within the organization.
Short term pain for long term gain has taken on an entirely new meaning for the rebuilding Senators. You don’t have to be a hockey expert to see how well the Sens have drafted and developed over the past few seasons. They haven’t rushed their prospects which will pay dividends moving forward. Character, skill and compete level will be at the forefront of the Ottawa Senators success moving forward. It’s undeniable that the Sens will be a force to be reckoned with in a few short years.
The recent high-profile signings of Jacob Bernard-Docker and Shane Pinto is great to see for the organization, but one shouldn’t forget about Sokolov and the impact he has had in his first foray at the pro level. The former Cape Breton Eagle star import has earned a late season call up to the big club. A matter of fact, he’s earned every ounce of success in his career, nothing has ever been given to him other than an opportunity, which he has taken advantage of each and every one that has come his way. You see that’s what makes him such a special player and person.
Egor Sokolov is ahead of schedule.
Will the talented Russian make his NHL debut this year? Time will tell, but rest assured he will be prepared and will have an impact no matter when that opportunity presents itself.