Analyzing New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin statistics

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Igor Shesterkin just signed a contract extension with the New York Rangers, meaning the native of Moscow, Russia, will remain on Broadway for at least four more seasons. He has seen action in 47 NHL games so far and, barring any significant injuries, should become the 31st goalie in franchise history to play at least 50 games.

Shesterkin has yet to play every team in the league because of the shortened 2019-20 campaign and divisional play in 2020-21. That means teams in the east, like the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, have seen him in the opposing net more often than those in the central and west, like the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks.

Through 47 games, Shesterkin has played 2,590 minutes in the best league in the world. That means when we dive deep into his statistics, there are bound to be some interesting statistical nuggets to discover.

Advanced situational statistics

There are not many weaknesses in Shesterkin’s game; however, someone could point out his play in special team situations. His career save percentage (SV%) at even strength is .928 but is down over 60 points to .866 while killing penalties, but that kind of drop is not uncommon for NHL goalies. By comparison, Henrik Lundqvist’s career even strength SV% is .927, and his power-play SV% is .877, a drop of 50 points.

Shesterkin has given up 84 goals on 1174 shots at even-strength and 27 power play goals on 201 shots. So far, he has only surrendered one shorthanded goal, which belongs to Kevin Rooney and occurred on Jan. 9, 2020, in his second NHL start.

Auston Matthews scored the first power play goal on Shesterkin, while all three of James van Riemsdyk’s goals have come on the man advantage. Sam Reinhart may have Shesterkin’s number but owes his success to the power play, which accounts for three of his four goals.


Due to many unforeseen circumstances, Shesterkin has yet to experience west coast hockey at its finest. When the 2021-22 season kicks off, he will put his undefeated Western Conference streak (6-0-0) on the line in the second contest of the season against the Dallas Stars. During the 2019-20 season he picked up wins against the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets, and Stars. Even though the league didn’t officially have conference names in 2020-21, he was 16-14-3 in the MassMutual East Divison, bringing his “Eastern Conference” career totals to 20-16-3.

Shesterkin has seen a lot of the Devils in his young career, appearing in nine contests against his cross-river rivals, which accounts for19% of his games played. He is 5-2-0 against the Devils, his second-best record against any opponent. He has yet to lose in regulation in five games against the Buffalo Sabres, boosting a 5-0-1 record.

So far, Shesterkin has faced 17 franchises, and the only two teams he has yet to register a victory against are the New York Islanders (0-4-0) and Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0). He has a winning record against 12 opponents, but two other teams have gotten the best of him so far: Boston Bruins (1-3-0) and Philadelphia Flyers (1-3-0). He is 2-2 lifetime against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The scoresheet

As mentioned earlier, Shesterkin has given up just 112 goals in 47 starts which equals a 2.59 goals-against average (GAA). When we break down all those goals, we find out that 162 players have scored at least one point on the netminder.

Reinhart leads all skaters with eight points (four goals and four assists), while rivals Anthony Beauvillier (two goals and four assists) and Shayne Gostisbehere (one goal and five assists) each have six points. There are six players with five points, 11 with four, 16 with three, 38 with two, and 88 with one point. Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski became the first NHL goalie with a point (assist) against Shesterkin, which occurred on Apr. 25, 2021.

Shesterkin is 7-0 when he faces 40 or more shots. His career-best came on Jan. 9, 2020, against the Devils, making 46 saves on 49 shots in a 6-3 Rangers win. When the netminder faces 30-40 shots a game, his record dips to 9-12 and improves to 8-5 when facing 20-30 shots. If Shesterkin faces 10-20 shots and plays the entire contest, he is 1-1 with a 16 save shutout against the Devils.

Home or away

The upcoming 2021-22 NHL season should be Shesterkin’s first opportunity at a typical regular season. Whether he’s on the road or at home in the Garden, there’s a good chance he will finally play a contest against every team in the league.

Through 47 games, Shesterkin has played in front of the hometown crowd 27 times with a 15-11-0 record with a 2.67 GAA and a .921 SV%. His numbers in 20 road contests are slightly better with an 11-5-3 record, 2.35 GAA, and .929 SV%. The interesting fact to take away from home and road splits is he has registered one shutout in both situations. Shesterkin blanked the Devils on April 13-15, 2021, first at Madison Square Garden and then in the second game at Prudential Center. His worst NHL career start, a 6-1 loss to the New York Islanders, came on the road at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Apr. 20, 2021.

Shesterkin has had eight contests in which he’s given up just one goal. Five of those games occurred on home ice, with three on the road. The Rangers are 7-1 in those games, with their only loss, a 1-0 shutout, at the hands of the Bruins.

Extra time

Shesterkin has participated in only three contests that required an overtime session or a shootout to determine a winner. After the clock hits 60 minutes, it appears that’s when Shesterkin’s lucks runs out.

So far, he is 0-3 in these contests, including two shootout losses (Sabres and Penguins) and one overtime loss (New York Islanders). His shootout save percentage is just .500, with three of the six-shooters he’d faced finding the back of the net. Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang, and Tage Thompson have scored, while Sidney Crosby, Victor Olofsson, and Casey Mittelstadt were unsuccessful.

Ryan Pulock has scored the only overtime goal on Shesterkin, which occurred on Apr. 11, 2021, just 1:13 into the extra session.

Goals against

Shesterkin’s first goal against occurred on Jan. 7, 2020, in his first game against the Avalanche. J.T. Compher scored at 4:44 of the first period, officially welcoming Shesterkin to the league. Nathan MacKinnon scored late in the first period before Compher scored again in the second period, becoming the first player to notch two goals in a single game against the netminder.

The Russian goalie has yet to have a hat trick scored against him, despite the two-goal efforts of the following players: Anders Lee, Matthews, Dominik Kubalik, Compher, van Riemsdyk, Joe Thornton, Josh Bailey, Kyle Palmieri, and Oliver Bjorkstrand.

When we expand the criteria to all scorers, Reinhart has four career goals on Shesterkin, with van Riemsdyk (3), Jared McCann (3), and Palmieri (3) rounding out the list of players with the most goals. There are 18 players with two goals and 63 players with just one.

Samuel Morin scored his first NHL goal on Shesterkin during their Mar. 27, 2021 contest. Radim Zohorna, Trent Frederic, Yegor Sharangovich, and Nicholas Merkley scored their second career goals, while Blake Coleman netted career goal #50. Jake Guentzel notched goal #100 while Thornton collected #416 and #417. Alex Ovechkin only has one goal on Shesterkin so far, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2021, and was goal #709 on this quest to 850.

The future is now

The New York Rangers are one of the league’s most venerated franchises, with a history that stretches almost 100 seasons. Shesterkin has a chance to carve his name into the team’s record books by doing the simple things that make him a joy to watch. Whether sliding across the crease to make a pad save or making a routine glove save, his future is bright, and there is no telling how many of Henrik Lundqvist’s records he will chase down.

It was fun to dive deep into the statistics of a young goalie, to see how his play has affected his team and other player’s across the league. Although these numbers came from a small sample size, nothing stops us from revisiting these numbers at the end of his new contract to see what has changed.

If you thought this post was interesting, leave a comment below, and maybe we can take a deep dive into other Rangers greats like Lundqvist, Mike Richter, or Ed Giacomin.

Related Story. Rating the front office. light