The New York Rangers have been one of the luckiest franchises from the 2005-06 season till now.
In that time, the Rangers’ goaltending position has been Henrik Lundqvist’s. Lundqvist is now one of the greatest goaltenders of all time and despite not having a Cup to his name, he should end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame when all is said and done.
The main question, however, has always been what are the Blueshirts going to do when the “King” retires? Lundqvist is not getting any younger and appears to be on the back nine of his career, which is unfortunate for both the fans and the franchise as a whole.
With that said, I believe the Rangers are going to be fine when it comes to their netminding. In fact, I might even go as far to say that the franchise might end up having the second coming of Lundqvist between the pipes for years to come.
His name is Igor Shestyorkin. The 22-year-old Russian masked man has absolutely dominated the Kontinental Hockey League and has everyone wondering when we can expect to see him on Broadway.
Shestyorkin has been one of the KHL’s top netminders this season. He is 8-0 with a 0.87 goals against average, a .963 save percentage and four shutouts. Yes, those are the numbers he has really posted so far this year.
He was also fantastic last season as he went 20-4-4 with a 1.70 goals against average, a .933 save percentage and seven shutouts. Shestyorkin was even better the season before as he went 27-4-6 with a 1.64 goals against average, a .937 save percentage, and eight shutouts.
Clearly, this man, numbers-wise, has the goods. He is one of the KHL’s most consistent goaltenders and has been for the last three seasons.
When in net, Shestyorkin is quick, is great at moving side to side, can stop first, second and third chances, and is someone who seems to bail out his team when they do not have their A game. Yes, SKA is a powerhouse, but nevertheless, you need a goaltender to stop the puck and Shestyorkin has done that and more for his hockey club.
No one is quite sure when Shestyorkin will be coming to Broadway. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, a source told him that Shestyorkin will have to play out his contract in the KHL, which ends after this season, before coming to New York.
Whenever he does come over, it should be Shestyorkin who is the main man between the pipes. With all of his experience in the KHL, he is ready for the pro game in North America and for him, it should be the NHL.
The time is coming for the winds to change in the Rangers’ crease. Sooner or later, it will Shestyorkin blowing his way under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.