New York Rangers: With Jesper Fast’s Return, Who Deserves the Final Spot?

After being ruled out for 2-3 weeks, New York Rangers’ forward Jesper Fast will make his return against the Florida Panthers Friday night. With the offensive skill they possess, it will be difficult to determine which player deserves the final roster spot. However, this is considered a “good problem” to have in the highly competitive NHL. Here’s a look at who should make the cut:

New York Rangers’ players such as Oscar Lindberg, Jimmy Vesey, Tanner Glass, and Pavel Buchnevich are vying for their 12th forward spot in the lineup. Many of them prove consistency on a nightly basis, while players such as Glass haven’t had the luxury of time to prove themselves. The only option? An analysis of each player to determine who comes out on top!

Tanner Glass:

Being called up from the minors on short notice is never easy. However, in the time Glass has been back in a Rangers’ jersey, he has made himself fairly noticeable.

In his first game back against the Panthers, Glass notched a goal and an assist in route to a 5-2 Rangers’ victory. In a 1-0 overtime win against Tampa Bay, he got the energy high with a fight in the first period.

Overall, he has played well and brings a necessary physical element to an otherwise unaggressive team. However, matched up against some of his teammates, he might not fit the description best for what the Rangers need.

Pavel Buchnevich:

Eight goals and 10 assists is what Buchnevich claims to his name in his rookie NHL season. Although the numbers aren’t as high as they could be, it must be kept in mind that he’s only competed in 33 games.

Buchnevich has a hard shot and is undoubtedly tough to defend against. He has also played on more than one line this season and has found ways to fit in with each of them.

Recently, he broke a scoreless tie in a game against Boston, in which the Rangers completed a sweep of the season-series against the team. He scored from the same angle as his first NHL goal. Here’s a look:

(There’s a good reason he’s been nicknamed the “Russian Sniper.”)

Oscar Lindberg:

Despite being out for a large portion of the beginning of the season due to a leg injury, Lindberg has notched fifteen points on the season. This includes five goals and 10 assists.

However, his play as of late might end up being the deciding factor. Even more than that, his play with Jesper Fast might be the deciding factor. Before Fast went out with an injury, the two were seeing promising sparks of chemistry.

Take a look:

Jimmy Vesey:

The star out of Harvard and Hobey Baker Award winner came to the New York Rangers in the offseason and is intent on staying there. He has competed in 69 games (as of March 17th).

In that span, he has tallied 14 goals and ten assists, including four game-winners. He’s also been effective on the power play with eight points.

Some might have expected more out of the young star, but he has done fairly well in his inaugural NHL season.

The Decision:

In conclusion, the best player to maintain a consistent spot on the roster is Lindberg. He has proven himself to be a dedicated player and likely will help Fast improve, as well.

The two together could be the team’s next impressive dynamic duo. This is an opportunity the Rangers must see and take advantage of.