3 Stars of the Week: European Prospects Edition
The New York Rangers have not gotten off to the most auspicious start; they were 0-2 until they shutting out the Montreal Canadiens last night. Filip Chytil has clearly ordered the AV special, with Anthony DeAngelo not too far behind. However, there have been a few bright spots. The New York Rangers have a Power Play. Led by Kevin Shattenkirk and Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers have scored four PP goals in two games. Mika Zibanejad seems to be taking the next step, and his line with Kreider and Buchnevich is electric every time they are on the ice.
In addition, the Rangers in the system continue to develop and showcase their talent. This past week was no different. The only question is whether someone could knock off The Defending First Star of the Week, Igor Shestyorkin. I’m going to give you a hint: The answer is No.
Honorable Mention: Lias Andersson
Lias Andersson did not make the Rangers roster for opening night. However, he has and will continue to get top line minutes on one of the best European development teams. The Rangers and Frolunda have agreed that Andersson will play in all situations; on the PK, the PP, and top line minutes while he is on loan. Since returning to Frolunda, Andersson has played in four games in the Champions Hockey League, scoring 2 points (1G, 1A). As long as Andersson continues to play big minutes in all situations, his “demotion” is the best thing for him, especially considering AV’s treatment of fellow 18-year-old, Filip Chytil.
— Frölunda HC (@frolunda_hc) September 28, 2017
3rd Star: Patrik Virta
Virta continues to put up solid if unspectacular numbers for TPS in the Finnish SM Liiga. In his last game, Virta put up two more points, (0G, 2A) bringing his season total to 8 points (1G, 7A) in 11 games. Virta continues to reward the Rangers for picking him in the 7th round of the 2017 draft with the 207th overall pick. Don’t be surprised to see Virta in contention for a depth spot on the Rangers in the next year or so.
2nd Star: Dominik Lakatos
Another under the radar prospect, Lakatos was selected in the 6th round this past summer. Since being drafted by the Rangers, he has played extremely well for Liberec in the Champions League. This past week Lakatos scored 2 points (1G, 1A) in a Champions League Game bringing his total to 4 points (2G, 2A) in 4 games. While his play in the Czech League has not been as impressive, 3 points (1G, 2A) in 10 games, his ability to step his game up against tougher competition is good to see. One of the main reasons the Rangers picked Lakatos was his playoff performance prior to the draft. Lakatos was nearly a point per game player with 13 points in 16 games against the men in the Czech league playoffs.
1st Star: Igor Shestyorkin
Among Rangers prospects, I put them into four groups. First, there are the players that will never play in the NHL and are there purely to fill out the Hartford and Greenville rosters. The second group of players consists of prospects who have an outside shot of making the Rangers for a season or two if they are able to play well and not make many mistakes. The third group is the prospects we all want to hear about: Sean Day, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, and Ryan Gropp. The final group is Igor Shestyorkin, no more, no less.
Shestyorkin continues to destroy all competition in the KHL. Shestyorkin remains undefeated and sports a gaudy, .957 SV% along with a 1.17 GAA. It doesn’t matter what league you play in, those numbers are extremely impressive. In his most recent game, Shestyorkin saved 25 out of 26 shots en route to an easy win for SKA St. Petersburg. Shestyorkin’s continued dominance earned him a spot on the KHL’s Team of the Month for September and a Team of The Week nod this past week.
— SKA Ice Hockey Club (@hcSKA_News) October 2, 2017