About last season: Jesper Fast’s 2021-22 season review, analysis, rating

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Quick Jesper by the Numbers

  • Age: 30 years old
  • NHL seasons: 9
  • Scorer: 14 goals, 20 assists, 34 points in 82 games
  • Playoff score: 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point in 14 games
  • Advanced Stats: 58.1 CF%, 59.43 HDCF%, 57.76 xGF%, 62.35 GF%
  • TOI average: 12:56 ES, 0:17 PP, 1:35 SH
  • Contract status: One year, $2 million AAV remaining on his current deal. UFA after 2022-23.

In the second year of his three-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, Jesper Fast had one of his best, if not the best regular seasons of his nine-year NHL career.

The 30-year-old Swede posted career highs in goals (14) and points (30) and tied his career high in assists (20) while playing all 82 regular season games for the first time of his NHL career.

Most of his more than 1,200 minutes on the ice were alongside Jordan Staal. When this duo was on the ice together for the Hurricanes, the team scored 39 goals and only scored 19 in about 765 minutes at 5-on-5.

Combined with Nino Niederreiter on the other wing, this duo was even more dominant. In 534:46 of 5-on-5 ice time, the trio outscored their opponents by a whopping 34-14 margin while controlling 61.88% of high-risk scoring chances and 59.58% of expected goals.

Fast was part of one of the best center lines in all of hockey for much of the season, dominating the defensive side of the puck and using his size and physicality to drive pucks down the ice and maintain possession of the puck. the puck in the offensive zone.

You would be hard pressed to find a more efficient and better tuned machine from a front line. All three plays were bought and played exactly the way they needed to play to make them as effective as possible during the regular season, and Fast was a big part of that.

Fast was an elite defensive tackle last season, as he was for most of his rookie season at Carolina, but his 5-on-5 offense was what took a serious step forward. His offensive generation was unusually weak in 2020-21, but he rebounded and was closer to where he was at the end of his time in New York – a winger with average or slightly above average offensive impact combined with elite defense.

He was jostled in the line-up at times, but he was never as effective at the top of the line-up as he was next to Staal and Niederreiter. He does, however, have the versatility to play for a shorter period.

He ended his season with very strong offensive production streaks. He scored five goals in the team’s first ten games and had nine points in 11 games in April to close the season.

Of course, much of his impact also came on the penalty kill. He was Carolina’s fourth most-used forward on the PK, just one second behind third-placed Teuvo Teravainen. While Jordan Staal was a physical beast and Sebastian Aho was a huge counter-attacking threat on the PK, Fast used his active stick, quickness and intelligence to lead him to success in those situations, as he did. for most of his career.

Jesper Rapid Isolated Impacts 2021-22.
Micah Blake McCurdy

His success also came against quality competition, regularly playing the other team’s best players in the top six and tasked with playing a stop-loss defensive role.

There’s very little to complain about on the fast front during the regular season; he was all he was brought for. But, unfortunately, his impacts weren’t as substantial in the playoffs – as was the case with many players on this Hurricanes roster.

In the playoffs, the Nino-Staal-Fast trio saw their numbers drop significantly. In all honesty, if they had maintained a 3-1 goals for and against ratio in the playoffs, they would have been one of the most dominant lines in all of hockey, but they were scored six times and scored just four goals alone in the playoffs.

When the quality of the competition was amped up and they were explicitly scheduled for two seven-game series, they almost felt like they were running out of steam. The penalty also had a tough time, especially in the second round against Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox, among many others.

This is where shortness of breath becomes very relevant to the conversation. The Hurricanes’ amazing fanfare to the penalty box during the playoffs certainly had an impact on the team’s top penalty killers, a list of which Fast is near the top. It could also go a long way in explaining Staal and Fast’s combination for just two total playoff goals.

In the second round, when Carolina’s top offensive producers couldn’t find the back of the net with any consistency, more pressure was put on the deep players to score, and that’s a tricky thing to place. on the shoulders of players who have a particular set of skills.

Things fell apart late in their series against Rangers, but it’s hard for me to blame a guy like Fast, who was so consistent all year and excelled in his role with the team.

Fast also did not participate in any penalties Carolina took at any time during the season. It’s pretty remarkable that a player who is used so often against elite competition has only taken two minor penalties in 96 regular season and playoff games combined. The second of his two penalties of the year came on Feb. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

After that game, in which he and Philadelphia “defender” Rasmus Ristolainen faced minors the hard way, he went 32 regular season games and 14 postseason games without a single trip to the penalty box. That’s probably what earned him a handful of votes from Lady Byng to go along with his three Selke votes – he finished 17th voting in both categories.

He enters the final year of his three-year pact with the club in 2022-23. If he has another year similar to the one he just had, it is undoubtedly in the team’s interest to extend their relationship with the player in the future. He is as professional and friendly as can be, no matter how things go on the ice.

In Fast’s case, things are going pretty well for him on the ice.


Exit interview


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