A long time veteran with his hometown club KT Ust-Kamenogorsk, Shafranov was drafted by the St. Louis Blues 229th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He made an immediate impact in North America, scoring 46 goals with the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League, earning himself the title of rookie of the year and a spot on the IHL's second All-Star Team. The following season, he made his NHL debuts with the Blues, scoring twice and adding an assist in 5 games. It was however all for his NHL career; he did play a few more seasons in the American Hockey League and the IHL, but he never again had an impact such as that he had in his first season with Fort Wayne, which led him to go back in Europe, where the larger ice surfaces and more open play suited much better the goal scorer's style.
Shafranov took part in various competitions for the Kazakhstani National Team, totalling 43 games for the national squad.