Yesterday, it was announced that the New York Rangers‘ 2024 All-Star Game representative would be none other than superstar goaltender Igor Shesterkin. The NHL chose to stick with its controversial format of selecting one player per team, followed by a fan vote to choose an additional 12 players.
Upon the announcement of the league-selected roster, there was an immediate outcry for the absence of Artemi Panarin on the list. However, it was later revealed that Panarin would not be able to attend the ASG due to the upcoming birth of his second child.
A solid season from Shesterkin so far
Despite going through a bit of a rough stretch earlier this year, Shesterkin is still having an overall solid season with the Rangers. He’s earned 16 wins across 24 games played, remaining as the backbone of the Blueshirts. His GAA is slightly higher than usual at 2.75, and his SV% is a bit low at .908, but these overall stats have been calculated across an entire season consisting of multiple defensive lapses from the Rangers.
Shesterkin has really begun to return to form over his most recent few starts. He’s 6-1-0 across his last seven games, with an elite GAA of just 2.12 and an incredible SV% of .923. Whatever issues he was having earlier in the year, that slump has officially ended for him. Shesterkin is back to being one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, and with Panarin removing himself from ASG contention, Igor is the clear choice to be the representative for the Rangers.
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Fans still have the power to vote in more Rangers stars
Now that Shesterkin has been selected by the league to attend the ASG, the power now shifts over to the fans. There are 12 more players that will be voted in by fans online, with the vote going through till January 11th. Despite only a few more all-stars able to attend, there are a handful of Rangers players that could earn themselves a spot.
Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider are the two favorites to possibly join Shesterkin in Toronto at this year’s ASG. Both have been dominant forces on the first line and are both integral members of the Rangers’ offensive corps. Vincent Trocheck and Adam Fox are some other names that could sneak their way onto the roster, but it will all come down to how the fans vote up until the polls close. It’s a shame that Panarin won’t be able to make an appearance, but the Bread Man’s bun in the oven clearly comes as a first priority.