Taking A Look At The Rangers Goalie Prospects
The future between the pipes is one that the Rangers and their fans should be excited about. The Rangers have a nice group of goalie prospects that have the potential to excel at the NHL level, with some already getting their chance.
Starting with Georgiev, who should be the lead candidate to be Henrik Lundqvist’s backup at the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, had his chance at playing time towards the end of last season. Starting in nine games, Georgiev posted a 4-4-1 record with a 3.15 GAA and a .918 save percentage. Not bad for a 22-year-old who didn’t have much buzz when the Rangers signed him as a free agent in the summer of 2017. At that time, with Ondrej Pavelec already set to be the backup for the Rangers, many didn’t expect Georgiev to get any time in net with the Blueshirts. The fact that we can include Georgiev on the roster for next season is a great sign for the organization.
If Rangers fans want to get excited over a goalie prospect, Shestyorkin is the one to get amped up for. Shestyorkin, who was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2014 entry draft, is now just 22-years-old and is absolutely dominating the KHL. He is currently under contract through the 2018-2019 season in the KHL, so whether or not Shestyorkin will come over to North America won’t be known until this time next year. Over the past two seasons in the KHL, Shestyorkin has posted a record of 47-8-10 with a staggering GAA of 1.67. He was also named to the KHL All-Star game in each of the last two seasons and was most recently invited to play in the 2018 Olympics for Russia. The ceiling is high for Igor Shestyorkin, and we all hope to see him come across the pond sooner rather than later.
The Rangers most recently signed 26-year-old Mazanec to a one-year contract after seeing him play some games for the Wolf Pack last season. After splitting last season between the KHL and the AHL, Mazanec started in 20 games for the Wolf Pack. He posted an 11-6-2 record with a GAA of 2.97 and a save percentage of .905. Some decent numbers for Mazanec, who has had some NHL experience as well with the Nashville Predators. The reasoning behind signing Mazanec seems to give the Wolf Pack an established goalie, with the Rangers having the capability to plug in Mazanec if needed.
Drafted by the Rangers in the 2016 Entry Draft, the UMass-Lowell prospect has had a rough go after being selected by the Rangers. After posting a 2.06 GAA and a .918 SV% in 37 games in 2016-17 season, Wall has done a complete 180. Starting in only 12 games in 2017-18, Wall struggled with a 3.98 GAA and a .868 SV%. The Rangers are hopeful that Wall will flip back around for next season; but after his poor showing this past season, Wall has fallen behind in the Rangers goalie depth chart.
The 23-year-old Bowling Green State University alum has gotten some time in net for the Wolf Pack over the last two years. Although in the 2016-17 season he only started four games, Nell was able to get his foot in the door. In the following season, Nell started 18 games in the AHL posting a 3.12 GAA and a save percentage of .892. He spread his wealth around the ECHL as well last season, all posting respectable numbers. Chris Nell is expected to report to the Wolf Pack next year, hopefully to stay for longer than a cup of coffee.
The 22-year-old Michigan product has had his share of time with the Wolf Pack, and the Rangers, for one start. His numbers may be higher than where he’d like, after posting a 3.45 GAA in 31 starts for the Wolf Pack. Halverson still seems to be high on the Rangers goalie board, but needs to improve if he wants to stay with the team and get his shot. With Georgiev seemingly passing Halverson to go to the big show, Halverson needs to kick his game into a new gear so he can continue his development.
None of us want to think of a time where Henrik Lundqvist isn’t between the pipes for the Blueshirts, but looking at some of these guys gives us some hope. With Georgiev getting a roster spot at 22, and Igor Shestyorkin lighting up the KHL, the future is bright for Rangers goaltenders.
Editor’s Note: UConn goalie Adam Huska was omitted from this list because we had an in depth post about him last week. To read the article from Ricky Milliner, click here