The Hurricanes are bringing back a fan favorite and key piece to their forward puzzle on a team-friendly deal. As first reported by Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston on Friday, Swedish winger Jesper Fast is returning to the Hurricanes on a two-year deal with a $2.4-million AAV.
This is almost certainly an example of Fast taking a bit of a “hometown discount” to stay with the Hurricanes, as, especially coming off his strong playoff performance, it seems he could have gotten more money and term on the open market.
Fast gets a slight raise off the three-year, $2-million AAV deal he signed during the 2020 offseason, over which he’s been a great fit for the Hurricanes.
Fast has teamed with Jordan Staal as an elite shutdown forward duo for the Hurricanes, with that pairing frequently going up against the opponent’s top players and shutting them down. He’s also played a key role on a Hurricanes penalty kill that has been one of the best in the league.
This past season, Fast continued to provide valuable secondary scoring for the Hurricanes, putting up 10 goals and 29 points. He also led them with six goals in the playoffs, including the overtime series winner in game 5 against the New Jersey Devils.
All in all, this is a good piece of business for the Hurricanes to lock in a versatile, valuable winger at a bargain rate.
The team’s official release follows:
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed forward Jesper Fast to a two-year, $4.8 million contract extension. The deal will pay Fast an average-annual value (AAV) of $2.4 million per season through 2024-25. The contract also contains a modified no-trade clause.
“Jesper is an extremely hard worker on both ends of the ice, and his consistency has played a key role in our success over the past three seasons,” said Waddell. “He is the kind of person and player that every team is looking for, and we are thrilled to have him back in our locker room.”
Fast, 31, tallied 29 points (10g, 19a) in 80 regular-season games with Carolina in 2022-23, and added nine points (6g, 3a) in 15 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He led the team in goals and game-winning goals (2) during the postseason, becoming just the fourth player in franchise history to score two overtime winners in a single playoff year.
The 6’1”, 188-pound winger has recorded 82 points (30g, 52a) in 208 games with Carolina since signing with the team as a free agent on Oct. 10, 2020, leading all Hurricanes forwards in blocked shots (99) and ranking fourth on the team in hits (291) over that span. Fast was also selected by his Hurricanes teammates as the winner of the 2021-22 Steve Chiasson Award, given annually to the player who best exemplifies determination and dedication while proving to be an inspiration through his performance and approach to the game, and he previously won the Rangers’ Players’ Player Award in a team-record five consecutive seasons (2015-20).
Fast has skated in 630 career NHL games with Carolina and New York, earning 229 points (85g, 144a). The Nassjo, Sweden, native was selected by the Rangers in the sixth round, 157th overall, of the 2010 NHL Draft.