Rangers Call Up Highly Touted Goalie Prospect Igor Shesterkin


The future is now for the Rangers, who on Monday called up highly touted goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin, long considered Henrik Lundqvist's heir apparent.

Shesterkin will make his first career start Tuesday against Colorado. Lundqvist will back him up.

The Rangers drafted Shesterkin in the fourth round in 2014, but he elected to stay in the Kontinental Hockey League until this season, which the 24-year-old began with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate. 

Shesterkin has been stellar in the AHL, leading the league with a 1.93 goals-against average and ranking second in wins (15-4-3 record) and save percentage (.932). The 6-foot-2, 182-pounder was selected to play in the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic.

The Rangers' Igor Shesterkin makes a save on Miles Wood of the Devils on Sept. 18, 2019, at Madison Square Garden. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

"He earned it," Rangers coach David Quinn said of Shesterkin's NHL debut. "He played his way into this opportunity."

In 117 KHL games over six seasons, Shesterkin had an 88-16-7 record, a 1.68 GAA and .935 save percentage. Among goaltenders with at least 100 KHL appearances, his GAA and save percentage are both records.

Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev have been splitting the goaltending duties for the Rangers, who are allowing the fifth-most goals in the NHL on a per-game average.

Lundqvist has appeared in 24 games (22 starts) and has a 9-9-3 record. The 37-year-old has a .910 save percentage and a career-worst 3.10 goals-against average. 

Georgiev, who remains on the roster after the Shesterkin call-up, is 10-9-1 with a 3.17 GAA and .909 save percentage. The 23-year-old has surrendered 18 goals in his past four games.