Forgotten Rookie: Igor Shesterkin could be this year’s Calder Trophy Winner
The hype surrounding Alexis Lafreniere is legitimate, and he is the favorite to win rookie of the year. This was also a deep draft class with players like Quinton Byfield in LA, and Tim Stutzle in Ottawa also being worth candidates.
One name that is flying under the radar but could take home the Calder Trophy is Rangers goalie, Igor Shesterkin.
Igor Shesterkin still classified as a rookie
The NHL Hockey Operations Guide clearly lays out what the requirements are to win Rookie of the Year.
To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in more than 25 NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie.
According to those rules, 24 year-old Igor Shesterkin fits the bill. Remember, he only played in 12 games last season. That means when the puck drops on 2021, he is in the running for the Calder Trophy along with fellow teammate, Alexis Lafreniere.
The Czar of NY has as good a shot as anyone
The New York Rangers bought out Henrik Lundqvist to make way for Igor Shesterkin. Coming in mid-season, the highly touted prospect lived up to the hype with a 10-2 record in 12 games. The 24 year-old did that with an impressive .932 SV% and 2.32 GAA. Now, he is coming in as the number one, a spot he earned thanks to those stellar numbers.
Last season, Shesterkin basically helped propel the Rangers into playoff contention with stellar net-minding. He did so in impressive fashion earning a 7 game winning streak that included victories against Toronto, Winnipeg, and Carolina. He also faced over 40 shots in 5 of his 12 starts, winning every single contest.
Buckle up Rangers fans, because this is going to be fun to watch Shesterkin and Lafreniere battle it out for the same trophy while playing for the same team.
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