The rebuild of the New York Rangers has been tough on players, coaches and fans alike. When David Quinn described the most recent 7-5 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets as a “miserable” failure with a “lack of determination” from his struggling squad, it’s hard to find the silver lining. A nice update on prospects within the organization could serve as a breath of fresh air.
Igor Shestyorkin is Perfect in Back-to-Back Games
The 2014 fourth-round pick (118th overall) combined for 54 saves in two games this past week to post his career-high eighth shutout of the season, which ties for first in the KHL. Shestyorkin anchored SKA St. Petersburg to a 6-0 win over Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg on Jan. 8 before a 4-0 win over Lokomotiv Yarslavl on Jan. 10. And with those performances came a KHL’s Goaltender of the Week honor.
Shestyorkin 🇷🇺, Kudako 🇷🇺, Burdasov 🇷🇺, Konovalov 🇷🇺 named KHL Players of Week 18. pic.twitter.com/CYH8iRxChg
— KHL (@khl_eng) January 14, 2019
Through 22 KHL appearances with SKA St. Petersburg this season, Shestyorkin posted an 18-4-0 record and a 1.23 goals-against average (GAA). The 6-foot-1 netminder ranks second in the league in with a .947 save percentage and ranks third in the league in goals-against average.
Shestyorkin has relatively split the time with Magnus Hellberg, a 2011 second-round pick (38th overall) by the Nashville Predators who was traded to the Rangers in 2015 for a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Hellberg has slightly edged out Shestyorkin in playing time but the two have put up almost the exact same numbers.
Morgan Barron on Five-Game Point Streak
Call it a second wind or whatever, but Cornell sophomore Morgan Barron has started off 2019 strong. He registered back-to-back two-point performances in Cornell’s most recent sweep of Arizona State. Between both contests he added one goal and three assists, along with a collective 12 shots on goal.
In the first game of the home series for Cornell, Barron assisted on the game-winning goal and led all skaters with eight shots on goal as well as a plus-two rating. The following night, the 2017 sixth-round pick (174th overall) came up with the game-winning tally.
— Anthony (@ARusso95_) January 13, 2019
Barron leads Cornell with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists), three game-winning goals and 69 shots on goal. The 20-year-old likes to shoot the puck, as he ranks third in the NCAA in shots on goal per-game at 4.60. He’s accumulated a plus-five rating so far this season on a team that is currently ranked 15th in the NCAA.
Joey Keane Dishes Assists in Seven Straight Games
The OHL London Knights faced a four-game week that saw Joey Keane extend his seven-game assist streak. Along with his assists, he also finished a plus-four over the Knights’ 3-1 stretch. Through nine games with the Knights this season, the 6-foot tall defenseman has accumulated 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and a solid plus-seven rating.
Through 38 OHL games with the Barrie Colts and the Knights, the 2018 third-round pick (88th overall) has 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) along with a plus-16 rating in 2018-19. Keane is one of just three OHL defensemen who have recorded 30 or more points and a plus-15 rating or better so far this season.
With 12 power play assists, the 19-year-old is tied for seventh among all OHL defensemen. He is also tied for eighth in assists, tied for 10th in shots on goal (111), tied for 12th in points and is tied for 14th in goals. The Chicago-native holds the third-most penalty minutes on the Knights (52) and the fourth-most on the Colts (46).
A senior sports journalism major at the University of Massachusetts with bylines in the New York Post, Stan Fischler’s newsletter The Fischler Report and the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA.