Moscow-born Igor Shesterkin, who is a goaltender for the New York Rangers, is only the third Russian to receive such an award. Before him, the prize was awarded in 2013 and 2017 to Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) and in 2019 to Andrey Vasilevsky (Tampa Bay Lightning), RBC notes.
The winner of the title of the best goalkeeper of the season is chosen by the general managers of the clubs before the start of the playoffs. In addition to the Russian, Jacob Markstrom from the Calgary Flames and Juuse Saros from the Nashville Predators also claimed the award. According to the "Championship", according to the results of voting, Shesterkin earned 154 points. Igor with a huge margin ahead of the closest pursuer - Jacob Markström from Calgary (53 points). “It is a great honor for me to be here”, - Shesterkin said, - I would like to note right away that both Saros and Markström are incredible goalkeepers. Each of you deserved to receive this prize".
Among all players, the 26-year-old Shesterkin's performance in terms of percentage of shots saved and in terms of reliability ratio was the highest: in each game he saved 93.5% of shots and conceded an average of 2.07 goals for the entire game.
Commenting on the new title, playing since 2019 in the NHL, the Russian goalkeeper called it a “team victory” and thanked everyone who helped him achieve such a result and take the prize.
“And, of course, many thanks for the support of my beautiful wife. Unfortunately, she couldn't be here tonight as we're expecting a baby. What a year! Thank you”, - said the athlete.
Last season, Shesterkin's team reached the semi-finals in the playoffs, losing to the reigning champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Before moving to the NHL, Shesterkin played for Spartak and SKA, was a member of the Russian national team, in which he became the 2018 Olympic champion and twice received bronze medals at the world championships.