The Rangers have taken their second goaltender of the draft. This time, it’s Igor Shestyorkin (or Americanized to “Shesterkin”) of SKA St. Petersberg in the KHL.
Shestyorkin mostly played in the MHL (the junior league for the KHL) and had a 1.42 GAA and .947 Save %. He got a few starts in the KHL, with Spartak Moscow (since traded to St. Petersberg) and posted a solid 2.80 GAA and .902 Save %.
I’ve never seen him play, and getting information on him appears to be very hard. I’ll defer to Future Considerations, who do phenomenal write ups. I recommend purchasing their draft guide. They appear to be very high on him, ranking him the fifth-best goaltender in the draft and even have him above Halverson. Here’s what they say about Shestyorkin.
“An average sized, agile goaltender who is very quick in his crease. Goes side to side and up and down very quickly and fluidly. Covers a lot of net, despite not being the biggest body. Willing to battle and do whatever it takes to keep the puck out of his net. He can look quite unorthodox flailing in the crease. He’s very confident in his abilities and it shows in his play at times. Cuts down angles and keeps his body tight to the post. Could use his stick better to make plays and close off the cross-crease pass. Shestyorkin does not have the best technical skills, like many of his countrymen, but he makes up for a lack of refinement with solid quickness, athleticism and reflexes. His stick is weak and he does not play the puck very efficiently. Can be a bit of a nightmare when he leaves his crease to play a puck or make a mid- to long-range pass to a defender. Needs to work at tracking the puck better and maintaining his focus.”
Basically, we’re looking at a guy who plays the style of Dominik Hasek. Obviously, I’m not going to be naive enough to project him as that good of a goaltender. We’ll see though. Athleticism is fantastic, but Goaltending Coach Benoit Allaire, if he has to choose between one or the other, prioritizes technical skills. This is obviously a massive project pick but one who has tremendous upside. Shestyorkin will presumably remain in Russia for a few years and then, if all goes well, will make the way over to North America and develop in the AHL.
More than anything, I’m a bit surprised that the Rangers picked two goaltenders. With Skapski, Halverson, and now Shestyorkin, the Rangers should be set in goal for a long time one way or another.
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