Goaltender Igor Shesterkin opens up the regular season with SKA St. Petersburg against CSKA in the Kontinental Hockey League. The 2014 draft choice went 31-4-1 last season to go along with a 1.64 GAA and a .937 SV% and eight shutouts, all of which were career-highs.
"His best attributes are his ability to read the play, stay composed and control rebounds," said Nickolai Bobrov, the Rangers' Director of European Scouting. "[He is] a very technically sound goalie. He is mature beyond his years and is a proven big-game player."
Several other Rangers prospects are opening up their seasons this week, including 2017 draft picks Filip Chytil and Calle Sjalin, who will represent the Czech Republic and Sweden, respectively, at the U20 Four Nations Tournament that begins Aug. 24.
Chytil, meanwhile, is expected to play for Zlin in a Czech Extraliga preseason game Tuesday against Pardubice.
2017 first-round pick Lias Andersson opens up the 2017-18 Champions Hockey League with Frolunda against Zurich on Thursday. The CHL is a European tournament consisting of 32 teams from the Swedish Hockey League, Finland's Liiga, the Swiss National League, the Czech Extraliga, Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the Austrian Hockey League and several others from surrounding countries.
Dominik Lakatos' Liberec (Liiga) opens the tournament on Thursday against Vaxjo, while Tarmo Reunanen and Patrik Virta of TPS (Liiga) face Mountfield on the game day.
Lastly, 2015 fourth-round pick Daniel Bernhardt opens the Allsvenskan (Sweden) preseason with BIK Karlskoga against Leksands.