Friday, March 22, 2013
Rangers interested in Fast
By Katie Strang
With the trade deadline looming less than two weeks from now, the Rangers will be working the phones like many other teams, scouring for players that could help the club.
They are also considering another option overseas.
Just as the Blueshirts were mulling whether to bring back Norwegian winger Mats Zuccarrello, the Rangers are now considering taking action on Swedish winger Jesper Fast, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
The 21-year-old Fast, a sixth-round draft pick in 2010, finished with 18 goals and 17 assists in 47 games for HV71 of the Swedish Elite League this season. HV71 was recently eliminated from the playoffs.
Fast was signed to an entry-level contract by the Rangers back in May and although he played in Europe this season, would not require waivers to join the team.
Could he help the Rangers?
That remains to be seen. He's known for his speed, like fellow winger Carl Hagelin, although whether he could immediately adapt to the pro game in North America is a question. It still might not hurt to try, considering the Blueshirts rank 29th in the league with only 2.27 goals per game (only Columbus has managed fewer, with 2.13 goals per game).
Fast may also be a candidate for the Swedish national team for the IIHF World Hockey Championships to be held in May; in that case, he may need to work that out with the Swedish hockey program before coming to North America to play for the Rangers.