New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin has always been an avid fan of Ranger’s former goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Igor idolized Lundqvist so much that he wanted to copy everything about him down to his gear. Shesterkin commented, “I asked my dad to buy me TPS pads and blocker and glove”. “He told me, ‘No, we don’t have money for that.’ I said, ‘OK, next time I will buy by myself.'”
Ever since then, Igor has always followed in Lundqvist’s footsteps from getting drafted by the New York Rangers in the 4th round of the 2014 NHL Draft to replacing his idol as New York’s No. 1 goaltender at the start of the 2020-21 season. Igor won the Vezina Trophy as the League’s best goaltender at the 2022 National Hockey League Awards on Tuesday, 10 years after Lundqvist won the award in 2012.
Igor Shesterkin wins the Vezina Trophy
Igor Shesterkin won the Vezina Trophy. The other contenders were Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames, who finished 2nd, and Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators who came up in the 3rd position. Shesterkin said, “[Lundqvist] was a very good goalie and was so fun to watch how he played”.
The Ranger’s 26-year-old goaltender was 36-13-4 this season and led NHL with a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. He was also 3rd in shutouts, 6th in wins, and had a save percentage of .940 in 26 starts. In a single season, he was third with his .935 save percentage among goalies that participated in at least 50 games behind Tim Thomas with a .938 save percentage in the 2010-11 season with the Boston Bruins, as per nhl.com.
Rangers defenceman Adam Fox noted, “He kept us in games early in the year we weren’t supposed to win,”. “You have a lot more confidence when he’s in the net that if a mistake happens, he’ll have your back.” during this postseason, Igor Shesterkin has continued his star-calibre play and led the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 6 games.
Igor stated, “[It’s] so difficult because we had a very good team and we deserved to play in the Final”. “So I think it was a really good experience for us and so we will get stronger next season.” When asked whether he had time to watch the other Stanley Cup Playoff games between Lightning and Avalanche, he replied, “I have time” with a slight smile.