Rangers’ Jesper Fast could be intriguing NHL trade deadline commodity
Jesper Fast has always made it clear how much he loves playing in New York, if not from his words, then from his play.
The current and four-time winner of the team’s Players’ Player award is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer and should bring some interest before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
The 28-year-old Swedish winger is wrapping up a three-year, $5.5 million deal that carried an annual salary-cap hit of $1.85 million, and could garner a second- or third-round pick from a contender trying to shore up its bottom six and penalty kill.
Fast was an unheralded sixth-round pick by the Blueshirts in 2010, and made his debut in 2013-14. He has played 413 regular-season games for the Rangers, notching 54 goals and 145 points, while adding 39 playoff games. He scored two goals in Saturday night’s 3-2 win over the visiting Sharks, including the game-winner coming after numerous hacks in front, bounding over the goal line at 6:54 of the third period.
His 11 goals and 27 points through 60 games has him on pace for a career year.
“Shift in and shift out, you’re probably not going to find a more consistent player,” coach David Quinn said. “He plays hard, and he’s got enough skill to complement people that do have skill. There is such an honesty to his game and it’s certainly infectious throughout our lineup. He’s an important piece of the puzzle here.”
In terms of who might come up from AHL Hartford to fill the gaps if a few trades are made, first-round pick (No. 9 overall) Vitali Kravtsov scored a breakaway goal and added an assist on Saturday night for the Wolf Pack, and notched another assist Sunday against Bridgeport. Since returning from his two-month hiatus back in Russia, the 20-year-old winger has five goals and eight assists in 27 games.
Goalie J-F Berube, who the Rangers obtained in a trade with the Flyers on Wednesday for future considerations, played two games for the Wolf Pack, allowing a combined four goals on 40 shots during a loss at Springfield on Friday and win at Bridgeport on Sunday.
Shoot-first winger Vinni Lettieri is leading the Wolf Pack with 24 goals and 43 points in 55 games played, followed by Steven Fogarty with 12 goals and 35 points. Fogarty played six games for the Rangers this season and 10 in 2018-19, while Lettieri hasn’t been up yet this year but played 46 games with the Blueshirts over the past two seasons.
Source : Brett Cyrgalis Link