Igor Shesterkin’s NHL debut has been a very long time coming, however now that it is lastly right here, New York Rangers followers are ready to get a glimpse on the post-Henrik Lundqvist period.Igor Shesterkin|Steven Ellis/The Hockey NewsIt’s been a very long time coming for Igor Shesterkin – 2020 days for the reason that New York Rangers drafted him, to be precise – however his call-up to the NHL this week couldn’t have come at a greater time.
In fact, on paper, that didn’t make his recall any much less puzzling. Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev are wholesome and have in any other case break up the begins this season, albeit to combined outcomes. However Shesterkin wasn’t known as up as a result of New York’s netminders weren’t getting the job accomplished, nor was he known as up due to an harm. Slightly, the Rangers needed him up as a result of he deserved it and the time was proper. When the crew made Shesterkin their fourth-round choose in 2014 (118th general), the plan was clear: let him dominate in his homeland, play out his KHL contract and take over as soon as Lundqvist – then in his early 30s – was on his final legs. And that’s precisely how this case has performed out.
Shesterkin has dominated all over the place he has performed, together with a 15-Four-Three file, 1.93 targets in opposition to common, .932 save proportion and three shutouts for AHL Hartford. Earlier than that, Shesterkin stymied the KHL with an 88-16-7 file throughout 117 video games and was the league’s greatest goaltender by fairly a margin throughout that body. After placing up unbelievable numbers within the KHL over the previous half-decade, Shesterkin’s time within the minors was due merely to the logjam within the Rangers’ crease. Once more, his call-up was lengthy overdue. And with Lundqvist now 37 and taking part in nowhere close to the extent wanted to take the Rangers again to the post-season, New York believed it was time for the crease shakeup.
So, what occurs now? With Shesterkin set for his first NHL begin in opposition to Colorado on Tuesday, Rangers followers will get a glimpse into the post-Lundqvist period. It is also the primary take a look at the post-Georgiev period, too. Although he’s misplaced 4 of his previous 5 video games and allowed 4 targets in his lone victory, the 23-year-old has seemed good in spurts whereas taking part in for a poor crew and is taken into account to be the eventual odd-man out. A technique or one other, although, shifting one of many three netminders might be a necessity for the Rangers, as holding all three sharp or constant in a three-man rotation goes to be subsequent to unattainable. However Shesterkin’s play within the AHL pressured New York’s hand. He wasn’t gaining a lot dominating the minor-league circuit. It was time for him to check his mettle within the large league.
And Shesterkin’s recall is the primary of many. The Rangers are in rebuild mode, and there are others quickly to be on their manner. In the intervening time, although, the main focus shifts to Shesterkin and his undetermined time with the mum or dad membership. He’s the right case research for a goalie incomes his maintain at decrease ranges and never speeding his improvement, particularly on a crew that’s centered on the 2020 draft and never chasing playoff desires.
Whether or not he stays up during the season or not is to be seen, however Shesterkin doesn’t have a lot to lose. Georgiev is probably going gone a technique or one other earlier than the 2020-21 marketing campaign, and Shesterkin will assuredly be a full-timer within the NHL subsequent season. So, whereas his the AHL all-star recreation choice he obtained is sweet, Shesterkin received’t wish to be in attendance in southern California come the top of January. As a substitute, he’ll wish to be within the Huge Apple, able to open the primary half of a back-to-back in opposition to Detroit. That may imply he’s made it, in the end.
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Tags: prospects, big apple rangers, nhlConnect: Concerning the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.