Why Shesterkin Can Win The Vezina This Upcoming Season

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last year was a mixed bag for New York Rangers All-Star goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

After struggling for much of the first half of the season, Shesterkin, 27, finished the regular season with a record of 37-13-0-8 with a 2.48 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage, and three shutouts. This was a far cry from the regular season he had the previous year when he was 36-13-0-4 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage, and six shutouts which led him to win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender.

The Stanley Cup playoffs were also up and down for Shesterkin. While his play was outstanding, as he was 3-4 with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage, the team was knocked out in seven games by the New Jersey Devils.

I am going to throw this out there now and say that Shesterkin wins his second Vezina Trophy this upcoming season. There are a few reasons why I believe this will happen.

For starters, he has all the skills in the world. He’s quick; he controls his rebounds; he has a great glove hand; he can play the puck; he’s great when he faces a lot of shots, can stop breakaways, and is simply a world-class netminder.

Even though he had somewhat of an “off” season last year, Shesterkin is one of the league’s most consistent netminders. Night in and night out, he does everything he can to be his team’s best player, and more often than not, the team can count on him to be there whenever they make a mistake.

Under new head coach Peter Laviolette, the Rangers should end up being a more structured team. As such, Shesterkin should get a lot of help from his teammates, and as a result, his goals-against average should go down.

Lastly, Shesterkin is going to come into the season extremely motivated to show that last season was just a blip on the radar screen. He will come into this season looking to not only be better than his friend Ilya Sorokin (Vezina Trophy finalist last season) of the New York Islanders but better than every other goaltender in the league.

With Shesterkin’s competitive style, play between the pipes, and newfound motivation, watch for him to turn in a dazzling 2023-24 season.

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion: Florida Can Go Back-To-Back As Stanley Cup Champions & Here’s Why

As the Florida Panthers spend the summer celebrating their Stanley Cup win, it begs the question: Can they repeat as Cup Champions? I think they can, as their roster is still extremely strong despite losing some pieces to free agency. The core forwards that were up for contract Zito locked up long-term, ensuring little change […]

Read More

Ranking NHL Goal Horns

32) Utah Hockey Club: N/A 31) Colorado Avalanche: 1/10: Sounds generic, not a pleasant sound, I heard this too much in the 2022 Playoffs (it got annoying) Goal Horn Button: 30) San Jose Sharks: 1/10 – Sounds like a boat/foghorn, good goal song though, very unique Goal Horn Button: 29) Washinton Capitals 1/10: Sirens during […]

Read More

Player Profile: Mark Kastelic

Mark Kastelic was born on March 11, 1999, in Phoenix, Arizona. Kastelic comes from a hockey family, as his father, Ed, played 210 career NHL games for the Washington Capitals and Hartford Whalers. His grandfather, Pat Stapleton, and his uncle, Mike Stapleton, each played in the NHL as well. Mark played two seasons for the […]

Read More