Of the many young prospects who played for New York Rangers in the preseason, speedster forward Jesper Fast stood out above most. The Swedish winger impressed Alain Vigneault and Rangers’ management with his explosive skating and poise with the puck. Fast also showed he has the skill to create offensive opportunities and isn’t afraid to be the first one in on the forecheck. Shying away from contact just isn’t this kid’s style, and that is certainly something the Rangers found valuable when selecting their final roster for the start of the season.
Fans shouldn’t expect to see Fast light up opposing teams right away. The learning curve in the NHL can be a difficult one for rookies to navigate, and there should be tempered expectations for the youngster. That’s not to say Fast can’t help improve an offense that struggled to score goals last season. Speed can create more opportunities and open up the ice for playmakers. The Rangers are hoping that Fast will continue to do just that as the season begins against Phoenix Coyotes Thursday night.
Many believe that the Rangers’ window to win a Stanley Cup is closing, but with talented prospects like Fast there may be reason to believe that the Blueshirts have their next generation team core already in their system. Along with another young up and coming forward, J.T. Miller, Fast will give fans a preview of what’s to come in the future as he hopes to continue to impress the NHL and leave his mark on the ice.
Martin Burns covers the New York Rangers for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter for more thoughts and news about the team!