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Igor Shesterkin Is A Hart Trophy Finalist

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Igor Shesterkin has officially been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy.

This announcement comes a day after Shesterkin was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, and the New York Rangers’ starting goaltender certainly had one of the most impressive performances in recent memory.

Shesterkin posted a record 36-13-4 with six shutouts, a 2.07 goals against average, and .935 save percentage. He was also worth 50.5 goals above replacement and 8.9 wins above replacement according to Evolving-Hockey, and much of that value was because Shesterkin stopped 42.48 goals above average, and 37.24 goals above expected.

In a year which saw an offensive explosion that included eight players finish with 100 points or more, and four players with 50 goals or more, you’d think the goaltender who posted the numbers Shesterkin did would have a strong case.

Shesterkin faces stiff competition, as Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers were also nominated. Matthews led the NHL with 60 goals, and McDavid led the league in scoring with a line of 44-79-123 in 80 games played.

If I had to make a prediction, I think Shesterkin finishes second, but very much can see a scenario where he wins. I expect the fourth and fifth place finishers to be very close to whoever comes in third, and it possible that the voting is split just enough that Shesterkin wins by the slimmest of margins.