As of the 2005-2006 season for the New York Rangers, Hendrik Lundqvist, drafted at 205th overall in the 2000 NHL draft is now the record holder for New York Rangers’ goaltenders. A seventh-round draft pick. Why is this intriguing? Follow me on the journey from Henrik Lundqvist to Igor Shesterkin.
Shesterkin Era Begins
New York Ranger fans wept as the era of the King swiftly ended and became the time of the Czar. Igor Shesterkin, drafted at 118th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, ironically when the Stanley Cup core of the New York Rangers missed their window for a Stanley Cup. Shesterkin stands at 6’1″, 183 lbs. What caught the attention of the New York Rangers management? His numbers in the top league of the KHL are scary good.
Journey to New York
Spartak Moscow selected Shesterkin 43rd in the 2012 KHL Draft where he played his first season with Spartak. On January 23rd, 2014, Igor made 33 saves in his first shutout, a 3-0 win. He was sent to the MHL where he registered a 12-7 record, 1.75 goals-against average, and a .937 save percentage. When Shesterkin joined SKA St.Petersburg in the KHL during the 2015-2016 season, he only got more dangerous. His GAA was 1.91 with a save percentage of .919. Before the start of the shortened 2019-2020 season, the Rangers wanted Igor Shesterkin to have Lundqvist tutor him to eventually be the starter. Hence the end of the King’s reign in New York but because of contract restrictions, Igor is in.
Caught In The Shuffle
With the New York Rangers having a three goaltender carousel, Shesterkin was sent to Hartford while Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev stayed on broadway. Shesterkin was hard to miss as he played net in front of a newly, stronger Hartford Wolfpack team. Shesterkin made an impact and his first AHL win was a 5-3 win against the Charlotte Checkers. Shesterkin’s 5-1-0 record along with his .942 save percentage, and 1.49 GAA earned him the award of top goalie in the AHL for the month of October.
On January 6th, 2020, the Rangers recalled Igor Shesterkin from Hartford. The era of the King was officially over. Shesterkin went 10-2 and had a .932 save percentage. Enter the Czar where the New York Rangers will most likely lose Georgiev to Seattle.
Kaapo Kakko, Igor Shesterkin, Adam Fox, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Lindgren, Vitaly Kravtsov, Tony DeAngelo, K’Andre Miller, Nils Lundkvist, Morgan Barron, Colin Blackwell, Jonny Brodzinski, and now Alexis Lafreniere? Plus with Shesterkin as the team’s number one? Nowadays, Ranger fans have hope again.