Jesper Fast is a speedy winger -- naturally, with that name -- who plays with an edge and has grown into a valuable bottom-six role player for the Rangers. With plenty of talent ahead of him on the roster at right wing, it's hard to see him rising into top-six duties, which is probably for the best, but after netting just 21 points in an injury-shortened 2016-17, he should see a bit of a rebound toward the 30 he managed the season before.
Fast (hip) has been skating for more than a week and is in line to return by the end of October, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports. When Fast was spotted skating with his teammates Sep. 6 and declared he was near 100 percent, it inspired confidence that the winger would be ready for the start of training camp. However, the Rangers have decided to take a more cautious route with Fast's return, following the original five-month window of recovery that was announced when he went under the knife June 5. With this development, Fast may be more of a free-agent pickup than a draft pick in this season's fantasy leagues.
Fast (hip) participated in an informal workout Tuesday and declared that he's nearly 100 percent. The bottom-six winger isn't out of the woods in terms of his rehab, though his return to the ice is an encouraging sign. "This was the first time I was practicing with the team, doing some passing drills," he said. "It felt better than I thought it would. We'll see. We'll take it slow, take it step by step, and we'll see what happens." Following a seasonal output of 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 68 games, Fast reached a three-year extension with the Blueshirts in July. Between his injury and lack of playing time, it's best to leave him off fantasy rosters outside of extremely deep leagues.
Fast (hip) agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Rangers on Wednesday with an average annual value of $1.85 million. Fast was eligible for arbitration heading into Wednesday's 5 p.m. Eastern Time deadline. The winger experienced a bit of a sophomore slump -- just 21 points in 2016-17 versus 30 the year prior -- but the decrease in productivity could be attributed to a variety of ailments that cost him time during the season. If the 25-year-old can get back to 100 percent following offseason hip surgery that's expected to keep him out for the first month of the 2017-18 campaign, there should be little doubt he can once again be a 30-plus-point player.
Fast (hip) is among the Rangers players exposed for the upcoming Vegas expansion draft, the New York Daily News reports. After undergoing hip surgery in early June, Fast is expected to be out into November, making it even less likely that the Golden Knights will choose him over the likes of Oscar Lindberg and Antti Raanta. The speedy bottom-six winger is coming off a modest 21 points over 68 games with the Blueshirts in 2016-17.
Fast underwent hip surgery Monday and is expected to be sidelined for the next five months. Fast performed well in the postseason as he recorded six points in 12 outings while averaging 14:58 of ice time. The winger had a down year, as he managed just six goals and 15 assists during the 2016-17 campaign. Given his recovery timeline, he will likely miss the start of next season. Between the injury and the drop in production, fantasy owners may want to wait until later rounds before picking up the 25-year-old, who can still provide solid mid-range value once cleared to play.
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