Sportsnet recently listed their top 15 breakout players for the upcoming season and two New York Rangers are at the top of that list. The two Blueshirts that they have tabbed are goalie Igor Shesterkin and defenseman Adam Fox.
It does not really come as a surprise that Shesterkin made the list. On the site Betonline.ag, Shesterkin is the second betting favorite for the Calder trophy behind teammate and first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. Even with 12 games under his belt, Shesterkin will still be classified as a rookie heading into 2020-21.
The 12 starts gave a glimpse of his potential as Shesterkin notched a highly-impressive 10-2-0 record with an even more impressive 2.52 Goals Against Average and .932 Save Percentage, in addition to an outstnding Quality Start Percentage of .750% and a 3.4 Point Shares.
With Alexandar Georgiev as his backup, Shesterkin is expected to get most of the starts in net for the Blueshirts in a shortened season, especially given his young age and his sheer talent and ability between the pipes.
The TOP 1ï¸âƒ£0ï¸âƒ£ second year players in the NHL ranked by @ProHockeyTalk.
Which second year player do you think will have a monster 2021?
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) December 17, 2020
Sportsnet names Fox as someone who has “put up gaudy stats from the back-end basically everywhere heâ€™s been, including 42 in 70 games as a rookie”.
The Rangers defense may some big question marks but Fox is not among them. He took a bit of a backseat in the rookie talk last season due to the play and coverage of Cole Makar and Quinn Hughes. Based on last year, most expect Fox to see more ice-time this season, instead of being only fourth in ice-time compared to last season.
The Long Island native was originally drafted by Calgary, who eventually trade his rights to Carolina. The Hurricanes then sent Fox to the Rangers in 2019 for two conditional draft picks. It was a move that seems to be well worth the price.
Among the stats that impressed many was that Fox was second on the team in blocked shots (92) and he led the team in takeaways (57). We also know that he has the capacity to be a good table-setter for his scoring teammates as he finished with the record for the most assists in a single season (2015-16) and the most assists in a career (2014-16) while a member of the U.S. National Development Team.
Keeping our fingers crossed that these two will have the chance this season to show why they have been included on this list.