Igor Shesterkin

Igor Shesterkin will start against Colorado

4:24PM: David Quinn spoke after practice today and said (NYR):

  • On Shesterkin, “you are talking about a guy who is incredibly athletic, mentally tough, embraces the challenge nightly to do everything he can to make sure his team can win a hockey game.”
  • On why Shesterkin was called up, “I just think it’s a natural progression. When you have a guy playing as well as he was in the AHL you call him up and give him an opportunity. Because of his position it’s probably taken longer than it should have, if you have a defenseman or forward doing the things he was in the AHL he would have been up a lot sooner. We are also not talking about a 19-year old, he’s 24. All that stuff plays a factor.”
  • Can you carry three goals long-term, “we are just taking it day by day and that is all we have really thought about, the present. We aren’t worried about three weeks or three months from now. Right now we have three goalies.”
  • Have you talked to Henrik, “I have not, I haven’t had a chance to yet today but Benny has talked to him and I’ll talk to both him and Georgie.”
  • Did Shesterkin’s play force this move, “yea, that is certainly a big piece of it. He played his way into this opportunity. It has nothing to do with Hank or Georgie. Those guys have really given us a chance most nights and it’s really more about Igor. Taking subjectivity out of it, that is what you want all players to do.”
  • Does having 3 make it hard to keep everyone sharp, “it will be a challenge for sure but we will manage it.”

1:29PM: Igor Shesterkin will make his NHL debut tomorrow as the starting goalie when the Rangers host the Colorado Avalanche. (Gorman)

Shesterkin was called up earlier today and this season in the AHL has posted a record of 15-4-3, a 1.93 GAA, .932 save percentage and 3 shutouts.

Henrik Lundqvist will be the back up for Shesterkin tomorrow. (Brooks)

Igor Shesterkin

Igor Shesterkin called up from Hartford

9:33AM: Larry Brooks tweets that Shesterkin’s call up is not related to the other two goalies and that it’s likely he will start tomorrow against Colorado.

9:17AM: The Rangers have announced that Igor Shesterkin has been called up from Hartford.

From the Rangers 1/6 Prospect Report:

“He has impressed all season long. No matter the type of game or the amount of work, he is always calm and focused. The players have a lot of confidence when he is in the net.” – Hartford Wolf Pack Head Coach Kris Knoblauch on Igor Shesterkin

“He comes in on a nightly basis, and he makes saves most goalies can’t. It makes things a lot easier having him back there.” – Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Nick Ebert on Igor Shesterkin (Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack)

From the Rangers 11/11 Prospect Report:

“He reads the play and anticipates what the other team is going to do so well, he’s got a lot of hockey smarts. That’s why he hasn’t had much of an adjustment period coming over to North America.” – Hartford Wolf Pack Head Coach Kris Knoblauch on Igor Shesterkin (Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack)

Henrik Lundqvist was ill on Saturday in Vancouver while serving as the back up.

From the Rangers release:

  • Shesterkin, 24, has appeared in 23 games with the Wolf Pack this season, posting a 15-4-3 record, along with a 1.93 GAA, a .932 SV%, and 3 SO.
  • He has been selected to play in the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic, as he leads the AHL in GAA, ranks second in wins and SV%, and is tied for third in shutouts in 2019-20.
  • Shesterkin has allowed one goal or fewer in 12 of his 23 appearances this season.
  • He has earned a win in each of his last four appearances, posting a 1.00 GAA, a .964 SV% (106 saves on 110 shots), and 1 SO in the four games, and he allowed one goal or fewer in three of the four contests.
  • In addition, Shesterkin was named the AHL Goaltender of the Month for the month of October, which was the first month of his AHL career.

This is Shesterkin’s first time being called up to the NHL.

Shesterkin can be sent back and forth to Hartford without waivers. Alex Georgiev now requires waivers if he were to be sent to Hartford.

Shesterkin’s contract also includes a European Assignment Clause that would allow him to return to the KHL, though the Rangers would still have the ability to call him back.

Adam Rotter: The Rangers practice at 12PM today and that is when we will likely get an indication of why Shesterkin was called up. His play in Hartford has been more than deserving of a recall but with both Lundqvist and Georgiev having strong overall seasons, there hasn’t been a big need to add him. It would seem strange to add him and carry three goalies but the Rangers may feel that it’s time to bring him up and that the awkwardness of a three goalie rotation will be dealt with.

Shesterkin has carried over his dominant KHL play to the AHL and while the NHL will surely be another step up with a possible adjustment period, there is no indication he will be anything other than the future number one he has been made out to be. Maybe this is short-term, Shesterkin gets in a few games before the All-Star break and the Rangers make a plan of action for after the All-Star break. Maybe Shesterkin plays so well that he doesn’t allow the Rangers to send him down. His performance itself will answer a lot of questions but the Rangers are surely prepared, or preparing themselves, for a three-goalie rotation and/or the possible trade of Alex Georgiev.

Igor Shesterkin

Igor Shesterkin named AHL goalie of the month

The AHL has announced that Rangers prospect Igor Shesterkin has been named goalie of the month for October.

Shesterkin is 5-1 with a GAA of 1.49 and save percentage of .942 to start his rookie season in Hartford/North America.

Shesterkin is in the first-year of a two-year deal. It’s believed that his contract for next season includes a European Assignment clause.

Prior to coming to North America, Shesterkin posted a record of 88-16-7 in the KHL with GAA of 1.68, save percentage of .935.

Jeff Gorton said this past spring of Shesterkin, “he chose to stay a little longer like Henrik did before he came over. He’s had a lot of success, been in the Olympics, World Championships and his numbers speak for themselves.”

At development camp in June, Shesterkin said, “I have to prove quite a bit and I’m very far from the pinnacle that I envision for myself, so I have work to do.”

Former Ranger Sergei Nemchinov told Larry Brooks that Shesterkin reminds him of Mike Richter, saying that he’s a “great skater, explosive and reads the game very well.” (NY Post)

Nickolai Bobrov said over the summer of Shesterkin, “each year, because of his work ethic, coupled with his talent, has gotten better and better. He’s a very competitive kid with a lot of talent and now with experience, playing in the KHL and international stage, World Juniors/Olympics/World Championships. He played with NHL players, faced NHL caliber shots. We feel he is ready to come. It take a little bit of an adjustment for the angles and size of the rink, but every goalie is different as far as the time they need but this kid adjusts to every situation in his career and came out on top. There is a lot of evidence that it will continue and we have very high hopes for him.”

Igor Shesterkin Vitali Kravtsov

Rangers officially announce signings of Kravtsov and Shesterkin

The Rangers have officially announced the signings of top prospects Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shesterkin.

Shesterkin, 23, signs a two-year entry level deal that includes a clause that would allow him to return to Russia if he is assigned to Hartford.

Kravtsov, 19, signs a three-year entry level deal that has a cap hit of $925,000 per season and also includes a clause that would allow him to return to Russia. (Cap Friendly)

From the Rangers release:

  • Shesterkin: The 6-1, 187-pounder has appeared in 117 KHL games over parts of six seasons (2013-14 – 2018-19), posting an 88-16-7 record, along with a 1.68 GAA, a .935 SV%, and 27 SO. Among goaltenders who have made at least 50 career KHL appearances, Shesterkin’s career 1.68 GAA is the best in league history and his career .935 SV% is the second-best in league history. In 95 regular season appearances over the last three seasons (2016-17 – 2018-19), Shesterkin posted a 79-9-4 record, along with a 1.49 GAA, a .940 SV%, and 25 SO. He has also appeared in 16 career Gagarin Cup Playoff games, and he helped SKA St. Petersburg win the Gagarin Cup in 2016-17. Shesterkin is a two-time KHL All-Star (2016-17 and 2017-18), and he was named to the KHL’s First All-Star Team in 2016-17, as he posted a 31-4-1 record, along with a 1.64 GAA, a .937 SV%, and 8 SO in 39 appearances during the season.
  • Kravtsov: The 6-3, 181-pounder has skated in 88 career KHL regular season games over parts of three seasons (2016-17 – 2018-19), all with Traktor Chelyabinsk, registering 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points, along with 12 penalty minutes. Kravtsov’s 28 career KHL points are the eighth-most by a teenager in league history, and his 16 career assists are the seventh-most by a teenager in league history. He received the Alexei Cherepanov Award as the KHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2017-18.

Adam Rotter: So after a long wait the Rangers finally have Igor Shesterkin coming to North America. Shesterkin is coming to North America with the understanding that Hartford and the AHL is a real possibility for this year. He didn’t leave the KHL assuming he would supplant Henrik Lundqvist or even be his back up unless he out plays Alex Georgiev. Shesterkin will get a chance in training camp to start with the Rangers but there is an argument to be made that he should go to Hartford anyway and be the starter there. Shesterkin has only really ever split time as a goalie so going to Hartford, in addition to adjusting to the North American rink and style of play, would allow him to get the majority and be a number one. The Rangers love him and his potential but he will have to earn his time between the pipes for the Rangers.

The wait for Kravtsov was much shorter though, with the lack of talent the Rangers had up front at times this season, it almost felt longer. It wouldn’t be a shock if Kravtsov begins the season with the Rangers and then goes to Hartford for most of the year before coming back up at the end like Filip Chytil did in 2017-18. He is a core piece and along with Kaapo Kakko/Jack Hughes joins a group of skilled young players that will hopefully drive the Rangers back towards playing deep into the spring and early summer.

Igor Shesterkin

The latest on Rangers goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin

The Rangers have reportedly agreed in principle with goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin on his two-year entry level contract. (NY Post)

Shesterkin will have a clause in his contract that would allow him to return to Russia if he is assigned to Hartford though Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers do not believe that would be the case. (NY Post)

Following the playoff exit of SKA, Shesterkin said that if sent to Hartford he would go to Hartford but added that he wasn’t ready to talk about the Rangers. (Sport-Express)

He added that he has no right to demand to play int he NHL right away. (Sport-Express)

Shesterkin’s career numbers in the KHL are 80-19-15 in 117 appearances with a 1.68 GAA and .935 save percentage.

He has played in 16 career KHL playoff games, going 8-6 with a 1.92 GAA and .919 save percentage.

In the past three regular seasons Shesterkin has played in:

  • 16-17: 39 games – 27-4-6, 1.64 GAA, .937 save percentage
  • 17-18: 28 games – 20-4-4, 1.70 GAA, .933 save percentage
  • 18-19: 28 games – 24-4-0, 1.11 GAA, .953 save

From the Rangers Prospect Reports:

  • 11/24/14: “He was very solid in net and stood out for the Russian team. He moves well in his crease and has a very quick glove hand.” – Rangers Amateur Scout Daniel Dore on Igor Shesterkin
  • 12/29/14: “He’s calm and confident in goal, and he does an excellent job at tracking the puck. He has the potential to be a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL.” – Rangers Amateur Scout Rich Brown on Igor Shesterkin
  • 1/6/15: “Not too many 18-year-old kids make the World Junior (Championship) the first year after they are drafted. For Brandon, with this experience, he’s going to be better. For a first year kid to nab that second role, we’re really proud of that. With Igor, when our North American scouts set their eyes on him for the first time, they said he’s one cool goaltender. He doesn’t let anything bother him.” – Rangers Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark on Brandon Halverson and Igor Shesterkin
  • 1/6/15: “He is just a great goalie, he saved us. He’s a great guy and a big part of our team.” – Team Russia forward Sergei Tolchinsky on Igor Shesterkin
  • 3/30/15: “He plays with terrific confidence in net. He is sound in the crease and doesn’t allow many rebounds.” – Rangers European Scout Vladimir Lutchenko on Igor Shesterkin
  • 10/10/16: “His best attributes are his ability to read the play, stay composed, and control rebounds. A very technically sound goalie, he is mature beyond his years and is a proven big-game player.” – Nickolai Bobrov, Rangers Director of European Scouting, on Igor Shesterkin
  • 2/20/17: “It’s not only the way he plays, it’s the way he carries himself that’s equally impressive and sets him apart. He’s special. He’s the closest thing that I’ve seen to Henrik (Lundqvist).” – Gordie Clark on Igor Shesterkin 
  • 4/16/18: “(Saturday’s) match was tougher for me, I hadn’t played for a long time. (Sunday), I had more confidence. There was a couple of dangerous moments in the match when the puck fell at the stick of the opponents, but the guys played with commitment and blocked pucks.” – Rangers prospect Igor Shesterkin after making 42 saves in two games and posting back-to-back shutouts against Norway in the Euro Hockey Challenge on Apr. 14 and Apr. 15 
  • 12/31/18: “He understands the amount of work it takes. He’s always been the hardest worker on every team he plays on. His coaches, from when he was 9, 10, 11 (years old), that’s always been the narrative with him — extremely competitive and extremely hard-working, to the point of he would cry if the team lost and he would blame himself when he was very little.” – Rangers Director of European Scouting Nickolai Bobrov on Igor Shesterkin

Jeff Gorton said of Shesterkin, at a Town Hall event before the season, “he’s really good. Very impressive, very quick, about Hank’s size. Successful wherever he has been. He signed a three-year deal early on in the KHL. This is the third-year and we will get him over here as soon as we can and get him acquainted to NY and speaking English and all of that. Very impressive prospect, really good goalie. Most people consider him the number one goalie outside the NHL but he’s a very capable guy. By all accounts he is going to be worth the wait.” (NYR)

Chris Peters ranked Shesterkin third in his list of top goalie prospects. (ESPN)

Shesterkin was ranked as the Rangers third best prospect and 37th overall by The Hockey News Future Watch issue with them writing, “the heir to Henrik Lundqvist, Shesterkin is finishing his third KHL season and has posted nice stats. Before 71,381 fans in St. Petersburg Dec.17, Shesterkin backstopped Russia’s national team to a 5-0 win over Finland, a deceptive socre because of his multiple “grade-A saves,” said director of European scouting Nikolai Bobrov. The athletic Shesterkin will report to his first NHL camp in September. The challenges: smaller ice surface, better competition, more shots.”

Gordie Clark told The Hockey News that you can never have enough goalies in the system.

Sport-Express notes that Shesterkin has usually shared playing time in the KHL and notes that many Russian goalies have played in the AHL before starting in the NHL.

Adam Rotter: Shesterkin has a ton of potential and by most accounts the hype around him is warranted. That said he should probably play all of next season in the AHL. A year in the AHL would allow him to adjust to the North American game and also give him a chance to play 40-50 games in a season. Shesterkin has more hype and is believed to have more upside than Alexander Georgiev but Georgiev has done nothing in his two years with the Rangers but exceed expectations. The Rangers are not going to guarantee anything for Shesterkin so if he wants to be in the NHL he will have to earn it. I’m guessing that they have made that clear to him and that he understands the different possibilities (being in the NHL, being in the AHL, being up and down) of where he could be next season. The AHL opt-out clause is to be expected but I’m guessing it won’t be utilized unless he finds himself riding the bench in Hartford more than being in the crease.

Igor Shesterkin Lias Andersson New York Rangers Top Propsects Vitali Kravtsov

Where the Rangers top prospects rank (Updates)

3/7/19: The Rangers prospect group was ranked 2nd overall by Peters at ESPN.

3/6/19: Chris Peters of lists Kravstov at 11, Shesterkin at 33 and Miller at 37 on his list of Top 50 prospects.

1/23/19: TSN ‘s Craig Button lists Vitali Kravtsov at #1 in his ranking of top NHL-affiliated prospects.

Button writes that Kravtsov is “highly skilled” and an “offensive threat” with a combination of “speed, power, shot and finish.”

He notes that Kravtsov has played some center this season and that his style of play is “similar” to former Ranger Rick Nash.

Button also has Igor Shesterkin ranked 10th and Lias Andersson 28th.