By Justin Starr – Blue Line Station
New York Rangers goalie prospect Igor Shestyorkin continues to impress as the starting goalie for SKA (Saint Petersburg) in the Kontinental Hockey League. The 20-year-old is one of five goalie prospects in the Rangers system and is priming himself to make the move to New York in a due time.
Pundits have claimed that the Rangers window for a chance at the Stanley Cup is closing with Henrik Lundqvist aging. The same analysts claim life without Henrik Lundqvist in net and in his prime will return the New York Rangers to their dark years. Many of those people don’t know that the Rangers have been building up a strong group of goalie prospects. Igor Shestyorkin leads that group.
Shestyorkin is currently the starting goaltender for SKA (Saint Petersburg) in the Kontinental Hockey League. Shestyorkin earned the starting spot during the off-season this summer and he has not regretted it. Shestyorkin has played in 26 games this season, putting up a remarkable 20-2-1 record with 8 of those wins coming by shutout. Shestyorkin’s 1.51 GAA has him among the top three in the KHL
Of Shestyorkin’s shutouts, four of them came in consecutive games. Shestyorkin was minutes shy of breaking the KHL all-time shutout streak. The Rangers 4th round pick of the 2014 draft is having a career year and SKA (Saint Petersburg) made sure that he wasn’t going to be the one that got away. Shestyorkin inked a three-year contract extension which will keep him in Russia until the 2018-2019 season.
Along with his 94.2 SV %, the 20-year-old Russian goaltender has also added two assists to his stat line this season. SKA (Saint Petersburg)’s next game is on Thursday, December 1st against HC Kunlun Red Star where Shestyorkin will look to improve on his already stellar season.
Regardless of whether Shestyorkin continues to improve on his incredible season, he is still only twenty-years-old and is still growing and maturing. He is playing among men in the KHL and the top KHL goalie in the month of October is more than holding his own.
There should be no worries for the Rangers organization in net, as New York may have found the heir to Henrik Lundqvist’s throne. Shestyorkin’s numbers in the KHL are unprecedented, and he still has plenty of time to improve.
Should Shestyorkin continue to develop positively, the Rangers may have found another gem in the middle-late rounds of the NHL Draft. Only time will tell what happens from here.