Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin selected to NHL All-Star Game for second consecutive season

The NHL announced the first 32 players who will participate in this year’s All-Star weekend, and the Rangers’ lone representative so far is goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

Shesterkin becomes just the sixth goalie in franchise history to record back-to-back All-Star game appearances, joining Henrik Lundqvist, Gilles Villemure, Ed Giacomin, Gump Worsley, and Chuck Rayner.

The 28-year-old, who has been one of the top net-minders in the game over the past few seasons, got off to a bit of a rough start this year after battling a lower-body injury. Shesterkin saw his goals against average rise above 3.00 for the first time in his career, but he appears to have settled back into a groove. 

After Thursday's victory over the Blackhawks, the one-time Vezina Trophy winner has won six of his last seven games while posting a .946 save percentage over that span. Shesterkin is now fourth in the league with 16 wins across 24 starts with a 2.75 GAA and .908 save percentage, which is drawing closer and closer to his career marks.

Star winger Artemi Panarin, who is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season, seemed to be a strong candidate to represent New York, but he and his wife are expecting their second baby so he is unable to attend.

Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Alexis LafreniereVincent TrocheckJacob Trouba, and Adam Fox are still up for nomination via the fan vote.

All-Star weekend will take place Feb. 1-3 in Toronto.