The next great goalie, Igor Shesterkin, has been on display for the New York Rangers over the past two weeks. His performance has left Blueshirts fans hungering for more.
The New York Rangers have been rebuilding since the infamous February 8, 2018 letter to fans. While this team is very inconsistent so far in 2019-20, some of the players and draft picks they acquired in the process have given fans hope about the Blueshirts future.
One biggest concern among the MSG faithful was who would replace “King” Henrik Lundqvist defending New York’s goal. Although this team has a nice amount of impressive goaltending prospects, there can only be one who becomes a significant starter on Broadway.
Alexandar Georgiev has looked good again this season, but the team needed to think seriously about the future. On January 6, Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton decided to bring up their much-heralded prospect Igor Shesterkin from Hartford.
Shesterkin was drafted in 2014 by New York. Fans were immediately impressed by his stats in the KHL. Playing against top competition, he led the Kontinental Hockey League with both a 1.11 Goals Against Average (GAA) and .953 Save Percentage (SV%) in 2018-2019. Once Shesterkin made the jump to North America over the summer, it was clear the 24-year-old wouldn’t be in the minors long.
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Shesterkin made his debut against the Colorado Avalanche on January 7. The New York Rangers won 5-3, headlined by a 29 save performance from their young netminder. It made me feel so excited about this team’s future.
Shesterkin has started three games with the Broadway Blueshirts so far and has a 2.68 GAA, and .926 SV%. His hot start makes me want to see more of the Russian phenom.
The Rangers record this season is nothing special, they really haven’t moved up in the Eastern Conference, as a matter of fact, they have slipped a spot. Since making the playoffs this season isn’t at the top of the Blueshirts priorities, I think Shesterkin should be given more chances to play. Lundqvist and Georgiev should still get their share of starts, but since Shesterkin will most likely be the future starter, he needs to play.
It’s sad to think about not having Lundqvist anymore, but NYR has its next big thing in net. Shesterkin fits the Rangers mold and can be a great leader. He’s young and amazingly talented. Goaltenders tend to be the backbone who holds their team together. I feel Shesterkin can do just that.