Russian goaltender Igor Shestyorkin was taken as a mid-4th round draft selection by the New York Rangers in 2014 as a potential project goaltender with tremendous upside, and two years later this 6’1″, 190 lb Moskva native is right on track with positive projections.
Shestyorkin had posted a staggering 2016-2017 season with his KHL club, Saint Petersburg. The 21-year old logged a 1.64 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in 39 regular season games. Additionally, Shestyorkin put up an impressive eight shutouts throughout the regular season along with an even more impressive five-game playoff performance.
KHL.ru‘s Richard Delacy and Dmitry Nesterov listed Shestyorkin as the second-best goaltender going into the 2017 season. He is the youngest goaltender to be in the elite class of Russian goaltenders and his call-up to the Russian national team in November only further legitimatize his potential as one of the next great goaltenders.
The young goaltender exhibits incredible athleticism and stick-handling. He has an uncanny ability to pull off jaw-dropping saves, but his poise can be put into question at times — a stark contrast to the style of the current New York Ranger superstar Henrik Lundqvist. One of the most important questions in the coming years will be Shestyorkin’s willingness to come to the NHL while he has perhaps the premiere goaltending spotlight in Russia.
“I’m playing for the Rangers in video games, and then suddenly they picked me in the draft. Can you imagine how that coincided? And with Lundqvist… I would like to meet and speak with him.”
He’s already off to a tremendous start this season with a shutout performance in his team’s home-opener, and all eyes should and will be on him throughout this upcoming season as one of the next young star goalies that could make his NHL debut within the next two years.
“Of course there is the dream [to join the NHL]. I think everyone would like to try their hand there. But I still have three years to play in SKA, and I don’t think about the NHL.”