New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Jesper Fast.
Fast, 23, skated in 58 games with the Rangers this past season, registering six goals and eight assists for 14 points, along with eight penalty minutes. From the time Fast was recalled by the Rangers on November 10 until the end of the regular season, the team earned at least one point in 42 of 55 games in which he played (39-13-3 record; .736 point percentage). He was on the ice for only four power play goals against in 63:50 of ice time while shorthanded. Fast registered his first career NHL regular season point with an assist on November 23 vs. Montreal, and he tallied two points (one goal, one assist), including his first career NHL goal, on November 29 vs. Philadelphia. The Blueshirts won 13 consecutive games in which Fast played from December 8 vs. Pittsburgh to January 10 at San Jose. He became the first Ranger to be on the winning side in 13 straight games in one season during the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44).
In the 2015 Playoffs, the 6-0, 185-pounder recorded three goals and three assists for six points, along with a plus-one rating and two penalty minutes in 19 games. Fast tied for fifth among NHL rookies in goals and points, and tied for sixth in assists. In addition, he tied for fifth on the Rangers in goals and ranked sixth on the team in hits (38) during the playoffs. Fast tied for second among all skaters in assists (three) and tied for third among all skaters in points (four) in the Second Round against Washington. He tallied his first career NHL playoff goal in Game 1 vs. Washington on April 30, and he notched an assist on the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 5 vs. Washington on May 8. Fast recorded two goals in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Tampa Bay on May 20. He became the first Rangers rookie to register a multi-goal game in the playoffs since Brandon Dubinsky did so in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2008 against New Jersey, and the first to do so on the road since Mike Ridley in Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semifinals in 1986 against Philadelphia.
Fast has skated in 69 career NHL games over parts of two seasons, both with the Rangers, registering six goals and eight assists for 14 points, along with 10 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut on October 3, 2013 at Phoenix. In addition, Fast has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in 22 career NHL playoff games. He skated in three contests during the 2014 Playoffs to help the Rangers advance to the Stanley Cup Final, and he notched his first career NHL playoff assist/point while making his NHL playoff debut in Game 1 of the First Round vs. Philadelphia on April 17, 2014.
In addition, Fast skated in 11 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2014-15, registering one goal and eight assists for nine points, along with two penalty minutes. He registered an AHL career-high six-game point streak in his final six games with the Wolf Pack before being recalled by the Rangers on November 10. At the time of his recall, Fast was tied for 10th in the AHL in assists, tied for the team lead in assists, and tied for third on the Wolf Pack in points.
Fast has skated in 60 career AHL games over parts of three seasons, registering 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points, along with a plus-11 rating and 34 penalty minutes. He tied for fourth in the AHL in game-winning goals (six), led Hartford in power play goals (eight), ranked second on the Wolf Pack in plus/minus rating (plus-14), and ranked fourth on Hartford in goals (17) during the 2013-14 season.
Internationally, the Nassjo, Sweden native has represented his country in several tournaments. Fast recorded six points (four goals, two assists) and posted a plus-four rating in six games while representing Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Fast was originally selected by the Rangers in the sixth round, 157th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.