Is New York Rangers’ forward Jesper Fast worth extending?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22: Jesper Fast /

Jesper Fast is a fan favorite for the New York Rangers, both on and off the ice. The Swedish forward is a Swiss Army knife type of player, able to do whatever is asked of him. Should the Rangers let Fast walk after his deal expires, or should he be re-signed?

Jesper Fast has been a staple in the New York Rangers’ bottom six for the past few years. The former sixth round draft pick has carved out a nice little niche for himself on Broadway. A defensively responsible player who can chip in offensively, Fast is a very smart player, rarely making a glaring mistake.

However, at age 26, Fast has most likely reached his peak as an NHLer. He is what he is; a defensively responsible bottom six player, nothing more, nothing less.

With a lot of youth and talent in the pipeline for the New York Rangers, does Fast fit into this team’s plans two or three years down the line? Let’s take a look at some factors that could decide whether Fast is a Blueshirt after 2020.

Contract Term/Cap Hit

Fast’s current contract runs through the end of the 2019-20 season. He is scheduled to make $1.85 million next year, and $1.95 million the season after that, although he carries an actual cap hit of $1.85 million each year. If Fast were to be re-signed, he most likely wouldn’t require much of a raise. Somewhere in the $2 million-$2.15 million range should do it. As for term, two-three years sounds about right.


Another factor to take into consideration is Fast’s performance over the life of his current contract. Last season, Fast’s first year under his current contract, was his best season yet. He posted career highs in goals and points with 13 and 33, respectively. This was a marked improvement from the 2016-17 season, where he only posted 20 points.

However, as previously stated, Fast has most likely reached the peak of his career. He’ll never be a top-six player, despite what Alain Vigneault wanted you to think. That’s okay, though. Fast is the perfect third/fourth liner.

If Fast can continue to post between 25-30 points, while playing fourth line, primarily defensive, minutes, as well as being a very effective penalty killer, he is worth bringing back.


Fast is also a very effective leader, having served as an alternate captain last year. He is a prime candidate to be given an “A” permanently next season, and could possibly be a dark horse to be the next captain.

The next few years will be crucial for developing the young talent, and Fast is a great example of one of the Rangers’ “young veterans.” He is a great player to mentor the kids, and help foster their development.

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Jesper Fast is the kind of player every team needs; a bottom six winger who kills penalties, is a good defensive player, and can provide some offense every so often. He’s done everything that has been asked of him in his time in New York, and he should be kept around. When Fast’s contract expires, general manager Jeff Gorton should definitely explore re-signing Fast.