NEW YORK, June 21, 2022 – New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin has been awarded the Vezina Trophy, given “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position,” as selected by NHL general managers. Shesterkin is the sixth Ranger to earn the honor, joining Henrik Lundqvist (2011-12), John Vanbiesbrouck (1985-86), Ed Giacomin & Gilles Villemure* (1970-71), and Dave Kerr (1939-40). *Of note, prior to 1981-82 the Vezina Trophy was given to the goaltender(s) of the team that allowed the fewest goals in the NHL – now that award is the William M. Jennings Trophy.
In 2021-22, Shesterkin, 26, led the NHL with a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage, while tallying a 36-13-4 record and six shutouts. He became the third goaltender in NHL history (min. 50 appearances) to post a save percentage of .935 or higher in a single season, joining Tim Thomas (2010-11 – .938) and Dominik Hasek (1998-99 – .937). Shesterkin’s 36 wins ranked sixth in the NHL and his six shutouts ranked third in the league.
It is the 19th time in league history that a goaltender led the league in GAA, Save Percentage in his Vezina-winning season and first since Sergei Bobrovsky in 2016-17 with Columbus.
Since 1981-82, when general managers started voting for the award, Shesterkin (100 GP) is the fifth goaltender to win the Vezina Trophy with 100 or fewer career games played, joining Tom Barrasso (1983-84 – 42 GP), Ron Hextall (1986-87 – 66 GP), Ed Belfour (1990-91 – 97 GP), and Jim Carey (1995-96 – 99 GP). Shesterkin won the award in his first season playing 50 or more games. He is the 16th goaltender to win the Vezina Trophy in their first season playing 50-plus games and first since Tuukka Rask (2013-14 – 58 GP).
Shesterkin had a .900 save percentage in 75 percent of his starts this past season, the highest rate in the NHL (min. 20 starts). When facing 30-or-more shots in a game, Shesterkin was 24-7-2 in 2021-22 and when seeing 40-or-more shots, the goaltender was 4-0-0. A critical part of the Rangers penalty kill that ranked seventh in the NHL (82.3%) was Shesterkin recording a .929 save percentage when shorthanded, the second best in the league.
In addition, Shesterkin became the fifth goaltender since 2002-03 to guide his team to the third round of the postseason in the same season he won the Vezina Trophy. The previous four goalies were Marc-Andre Fleury (2020-21- VGK), Henrik Lundqvist (2011-12 – NYR), Tim Thomas (2010-11 – BOS), and Martin Brodeur (2002-03 – NJD).
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