The NHL has started shifting towards younger goalies to replace long-time greats, like Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Miller. Specifically, some exciting youngsters fill the Metropolitan division. These goalies are hopeful of becoming their team’s face of the franchise with the opportunity to be the go-to guy for years to come.
For example, the Tampa Bay Lightning has a top goalie in Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is just twenty-six years old. He has become a reliable option for Tampa. Other teams with young prodigies are hopeful that their goalies can become as incredible and dependable as Vasilevskiy, if not better.
Here are some of the top names to watch out for in the Metropolitan division.
The New York Rangers goalie has entered the NHL in a storm, producing great numbers in his first two seasons. Last season, Igor helped the Rangers win ten out of the twelve games he started. The Russian netminder has produced similar numbers this season.
He is part of the Rangers’ bright future, mainly the Rangers’ success will run through him. All of the championship-caliber teams have a go-to goaltender that is electric. Igor fits the build and will only get better as time goes on.
Ilya Sorokin is also a Russian goaltender. He is friendly with Igor Shesterkin, and they talk regularly. They played together back in Russia, and when Ilya transitioned over to North America, Shesterkin helped it run smoothly. These two can stay in contact and play with each other many times as both are in New York.
Sorokin first joined the New York Islanders back in the playoff bubble, even though he wasn’t allowed to play. The Islanders’ coaches and teammates got him to fit in easily to the team’s culture. Aside from his first few starts, Sorokin has played excellent, winning twelve out of twenty total starts.
In games where the Islanders might have an off night or are trying to maintain a lead, Sorokin is a reliable guy to protect the net. Without Ilya Sorokin, the Islanders would be in a much worse place.
Unlike the other two, Mackenzie Blackwood is from Canada. Unfortunately for him, the New Jersey Devils have been in a rebuild, and they don’t have that good of a team surrounding him. That aside, Blackwood has emerged as one of the exciting young goalies in the NHL.
He has been one of the bright spots of the Devils’ season. The Devils have been better towards the end of this season with Blackwood in the net and should be hopeful that this can continue next year.
The three goalies will face each other over the years in the New York Metropolitan Area. All are very young and will continue playing for their respected teams barring contract disagreements for years to come. However, most likely, Sorokin and Shesterkin will have better careers due to their surrounding talent.