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Senators Prospect Egor Sokolov Pays Debt to Cape Breton in Pandemic

Egor Sokolov played three seasons in Cape Breton. His game got better and he was drafted by the Senators. What makes him a strong prospect?

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It must be difficult if you’re a young hockey player who’s had success when it seems no one seems to see it. When do you give up hope? Egor Sokolov learned that patience was a virtue.

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Sokolov wasn’t chosen during the last two NHL Entry Drafts in 2018 and 2019; however, after he had a really good 2019-20 season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL, something good happened. During his third season with Cape Breton, he scored 46 goals and 46 assists (92 points) in 52 games. As a result, he was chosen by the Ottawa Senators with the team’s 61st pick in the second round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Sokolov Came to Appreciate Cape Breton as Home

Sokolov made huge strides in his game last season with those 92 points playing with Cape Breton. Sokolov was born in Russia, but came to North America to play hockey and has spent the last three years playing in the Major Juniors on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia in eastern Canada.

Obviously, Sokolov loved his time on Cape Breton. The Cape Breton Eagles are a major junior hockey team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Their home rink is Centre 200 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, a small city of about 30,000 people.

When the pandemic hit in March and the QMJHL season ended, Sokolov didn’t return to Russia. Instead, Sokolov stayed in Sydney because he said he wanted to give back to Cape Breton for what it’s done for him over the past three years. It had become like a home for him.

So, when the 2019-20 QMJHL season ended in March, Sokolov decided it was not a good idea to return to Russia during the pandemic. Instead, Sokolov stayed in Nova Scotia and, as he said, decided to give back.

During the pandemic, he helped deliver groceries to people who couldn’t leave their homes because their immune systems were compromised.

When he was drafted by the Senators, he told his family by setting up a Zoom call with his family in Russia.

Solokov Is a Step Closer to His Dream of Playing NHL Hockey

With his selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, Sokolov took another step towards his dream of playing in the NHL. In order to make sure he’s ready, he’s been working out hard to improve both his skating and his conditioning. Like everyone, he’s waiting for an opportunity to play hockey again.

Egor Sokolov, Ottawa Senators Prospect

Trent Mann, the Senators chief scout, spoke about Sokolov, “I realize he’s older, but over three years, he’s scored almost 100 goals at the major-junior level. He’s a kid that’s been committed to improving his game on and off the ice over the last three years. We’ve seen a lot of growth in his game and we just feel that scoring from the right side is something we wanted to address. He fits that need.” (From “Third time a charm for Egor Sokolov, who was thrilled to be drafted by Senators, Bruce Garrioch, Ottawa Sun, 30/10/20).

Related: G Matt Murray Traded to Ottawa Senators for 2nd Round Pick and Player

What Did the Senators See in Sokolov?

In other words, the Senators saw in Sokolov a young man who’s willing to work hard to improve his game. At the same time, the 20-year-old left-winger has great size at 6-foot-4. In addition, in 2019-20 he showed he can score.

Finally, not to be forgotten is the fact that Sokolov is also a young man of character. Anyone who would help people in another country by delivering groceries during a pandemic is someone I’d love to have on my team.

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