With the Rangers’ elite goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, recently turning 36 and the staff in the early phases of a administration-acknowledged rebuild, it’s time to glance at what the long term in intention for the staff may hold. The player generating the ideal circumstance for using in excess of the extensive-term reigns in the crease is Russian netminder Igor Shesterkin.
The 22-yr-previous was chosen by the Rangers at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in the fourth-round, 118th over-all. He is at present underneath deal with St. Petersburg SKA of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) by way of the 2018-19 year. It is unfamiliar no matter whether Shesterkin has a buyout clause in his deal that would permit him occur to North The usa quicker, but that is one thing that is not uncommon in the KHL.
In addition to his time with SKA, Shesterkin’s staff captured a silver medal at the 2015 Earth Junior Championship, back-to-back bronze medals at the IIHF Earth Championship in 2016 and 2017, and most recently gained an Olympic gold medal in defeating the German staff at the 2018 Wintertime Game titles with the Olympic Athletes of Russia (OAR). He is seen as a person of the ideal younger goaltenders outside of the NHL.
Shesterkin Dominating the KHL
The Russian goaltender has exceptional numbers in excess of the previous two seasons for SKA, with a put together 47 wins, only 8 losses and 10 ties in 67 online games performed. He has a 1.67 objectives-versus ordinary (GAA) and .935 will save proportion (SV%) with 15 shutouts in excess of that span. Last yr for SKA, Shesterkin stuffed in for wounded Mikko Koskinen and recorded a 1.84 GAA and a .940 SV% in five playoff online games, supporting his staff acquire the KHL Gagarin Cup. His staff is dominating the league all over again this yr, on the lookout to repeat as KHL champions. Shesterkin was also named to the KHL All-Star Sport in the two 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The Rangers have taken detect. At the start off of his present KHL year, he acquired glowing critiques from a New York scout. “His ideal attributes are his means to examine the engage in, continue to be composed and management rebounds,” explained Nickolai Bobrov, the Rangers’ Director of European Scouting. “[He is] a quite technically sound goalie. He is mature further than his years and is a tested significant-recreation player.”
His engage in since that remark and assortment to engage in for the Russian Olympic contingent has very likely cemented the Rangers’ perspective of Shesterkin, as he proved in his next whole KHL year that he was no fluke.
Hockey Earth Commencing to Get See of Shesterkin
It isn’t just the Rangers who see Shesterkin as part of the team’s long term. The Hockey News’ function on what the Rangers will glance like in a few years mentions the Russian netminder as the team’s prime goaltending prospect.
That idea was shared by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who famous in his 31 views on the Olympic roster conclusions that, “The Rangers are quietly thrilled their 21-yr-previous goalie prospect, Igor Shesterkin, is generating a solid circumstance to be OAR Olympic starter in South Korea.”
Even though he was a person of the a few goaltenders chosen for the OAR staff, the stellar engage in of starter Vasili Koshechkin didn’t enable the Rangers’ prospect to get on the ice in any of the team’s online games. Still, staying chosen and having to take part in the Olympics was a different phase in the 22-yr-old’s progress.
Assuming the Rangers can indication Shesterkin to an entry-amount deal when his KHL deal is up, he will have each individual chance to contend for a location on the 2018-19 roster. By that point, it is very likely that the Rangers would decide for a tandem predicament in intention where an almost 38-yr-previous Lundqvist in the last year of his eight-yr, $8.5 million-for every-yr deal would break up online games with whoever seizes that next goaltender location.
If Shesterkin gets the goalie of the long term for the Rangers, that pursuing year would see the staff a few years deep into its rebuild with a expense-controlled netminder with two far more years left on his ELC. Which is the type of basis that lets for excellent wage-cap overall flexibility in filling out a aggressive lineup. With as excellent a job as Lundqvist has had with the Rangers, his cap cost has hampered the team’s means to develop all-around him. That won’t be the circumstance if Shesterkin can take in excess of the throne.