The future between the pipes in New York is in great hands. Evident by their performances the past two seasons, Ilya Sorokin of the NY Islanders and Igor Shesterkin of the NY Rangers are two of the best the world has to offer - it wouldn't even be hyperbole to say they are the two best.
A question proposed by the NHL Network has recently gotten the two fanbases to embrace debate, asking which would be preferred to build a franchise around. As the two are analyzed head-to-head, Sorokin and Shesterkin are the furthest from rivals off the ice.
The two have been best of friends since their days playing in Russia, born four months apart. They were part of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team that took home gold at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, both serving as backups. Their "bromance" was on full display at the 2023 NHL All-Star Game as the two seemed to always be at each other's side, with Shesterkin making the usually stoic Sorokin crack a smile with a camera in his face during introductions at the skills competition.
The two are so close that Shesterkin and his girlfriend made Sorokin the Godfather of their son, Timofey. Sorokin, along with Russian teammate Alexander Romanov, spent Christmas with Shesterkin at his home in Manhattan, and the two have been seen working out in the off-season, in what one might consider a workout from the days of the Russian Army team, as the two were pushing a car.
Now that Sorokin is locked-up on Long Island for the next nine years, Shesterkin is next in line for a long-term contract, as his current deal is set to expire at the end of the 2024-25 season.
While it's splitting hairs comparing the two, there's the argument for Sorokin to don the title of the new King of New York.