It has been a busy day for young goalies in the Metropolitan Division.
After Carter Hart signed a three-year extension with the Flyers, the Rangers came to terms with restricted free agent Igor Shesterkin on a four-year contract, while Ilya Samsonov signed a one-year deal with the Capitals.
Both goalies figure to be a significant part of their team’s future, but they are getting two very different contracts right now.
Let’s break them both down.
Shesterkin gets significant contract with Rangers
Shesterkin’s contract is a four-year deal that is reportedly worth $22.6 million, which comes out to a salary cap number of $5.65 million per season.
It is not only a significant contract, it is the largest contract ever given to a goalie on their second contract. It is a clear sign that the Rangers not only know how good Shesterkin already is, but how much they believe in him to be their long-term answer in net.
Based on what we have seen from him already, they are right to believe in him that much.
In 47 career games over two seasons Shesterkin has a .922 save percentage with a 26-16-3 record. He is a significant part of the Rangers’ rebuild and one of their most important players. This contract will buy out the remaining two years of his restricted free agency and the first two years of his unrestricted free agent eligibility.
He finished fifth in the Calder Trophy voting this past season in the NHL’s Rookie Of The Year vote.
Samsonov has something to prove for Capitals
While Shesterkin has some long-term security with his contract and career, Samsonov is facing a very different situation with the Capitals.
His contract is only a one-year deal worth $2 million, and comes on the heels of what can only be fairly described as a difficult season that did not go as he or the Capitals had hoped or planned. When Braden Holtby left in free agency to join the Vancouver Canucks it was assumed that Samsonov and Henrik Lundqvist would lock down the goalie spot. But Lundqvist’s health issues and Samsonov missing a significant portion of the season due to COVID left the net in the hands of Vitek Vanecek.
When Samsonov was on the ice he did not play at the level that was expected (the illness almost certainly played a role in that).
Samsonov has played 45 regular season games in the NHL with a .908 save percentage.
He is still only 24 years old and has the talent and potential to still emerge as the Capitals’ goalie of both the present and the future. They just need to see it now.
He will be a restricted free agent when this contract ends after this season.