It was announced today that the New York Rangers re-signed restricted free agent Jesper Fast.
Fast and the New York Rangers agreed on a three-year deal worth an average annual average (AVV) of $1.85 million. The right winger was coming off a previous deal worth $1.9 million AVV over two years.
Fast makes an impact on the ice in all three zones, though he thrives especially on the defensive end.
He makes the most of his good hockey sense. He uses it in the defensive end to cut off passing and shooting lanes to gain possession of the puck. From there, he is quick to exit the zone and his accurate passes through the neutral zone allow his teammates dangerous chances.
He is equally as capable on the forecheck. Fast has such ability read where opponents are looking to move the puck that he can break up plays coming down into the defensive end. And on top of all this, Fast can score when given the chance.
This is all due to the effort he puts out on the ice every time he steps out.
The 2016-17 season
The 25-year-old skated in 68 games for the Rangers in 2016-17 and recorded six goals and 15 assists for 21 points, and posted career-highs in several categories during the 2017 playoffs.
During the postseason, Fast tied career highs recording three goals and three assists for six points. Additionally, he recorded career highs in plus.minus (plus-four), shorthanded goals, assists and points (1, 1, 2).
Fast served as one of the Rangers most reliable two-way forwards throughout the regular season. Not necessarily making an impact through goals scored, Fast registered big points for the Rangers in this year’s playoffs.
His two goals in games four and five helped push the Rangers past the Montreal Canadiens. Fast recorded his second career multipoint game in the playoffs in the Rangers overtime loss against Ottawa.
Breaking down the deal
This new agreement with Fast locks him down through 2020. The deal is reasonable based on the role he has stepped into over the last three seasons.
Due to his strong defensive play in both 5-on-5 and man down situations as well as his versatility in his position in the lineup, the 25-year-old has proven to be a player that makes his team better.
Fast underwent surgery in June to repair a labral tear in his hip (the same procedure Oscar Lindberg underwent last offseason) and is expected to miss the first month of the regular season.
Because of this, Fast will have to make a big impact upon his return. Ultimately this is a smart move by the Rangers, and one that will ensure depth in the bottom six for the next three seasons.