Read: Jesper Fasth Prospects Preview
In the history of the New York Rangers Draft, selecting players in the later rounds (6th round) has worked out very well for them. The list of players drafted by the Rangers in the 6th round that had solid careers in the NHL: Eddie Johnstone (1974), Tom Laidlaw (1978), Reijo Ruotsalainen (1980), Tony Granato (1982), Kjeil Samuelsson (1984), Darren Turcotte (1986) and Carl Hagelin (2007). Perhaps the best selection for the Rangers in the round 6 will be their 2010 selection of Jesper Fasth. Interesting fact leading up the 2010 draft was that Fasth did not appear on the NHL Central Scouting; which ranked European skaters available for the draft. If not for Red Line Scouting Report service; which had ranked Fasth 110 overall, most people might not have heard of him at all. Reportedly, one of the reasons why Fasth was overlooked was based on his date of birth (December 2, 1991). Apparently, being younger and undersized (5’11/165 lbs) caused Fasth to slip through the cracks.
Since being drafted, Fasth had a solid season in 2010-11 (65 games: 20 goals-22 assists) while playing against older and stronger players. Fasth has also added nearly 15 pounds to his frame (5’11/179lbs) and is currently playing for the HV71 Jonkoping Swedish Elitserien team and in four games has produced a goal.
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Below are a few Scouting reports on Fasth:
Elite Prospects: Fasth is a very good Skater with nice acceleration and top speed. He works very hard, fore checks with impressive intensity and also creates a lot of offense thanks to his agility and speed. Has decent hockey sense, technical skills and scoring ability, but it perhaps still more likely to develop into a role player. He’s not an overly physical player, but likes to play through rough traffic and does it pretty well.
Hockey’s Future: Jesper Fasth has made the biggest leap in the organizational rankings of any player this season. Fasth has the potential to be the most successful European draft pick the Rangers have had in recent years. Fasth has the potential to play on the second line in the NHL.
Hockey Prospectus: He’s a plus Skater with an above average shot, a great work ethic and he’s starting to show average prowess and sense with the puck. While the offensive skills outside the skating aren’t overwhelming, the package in itself is enough to possibly project as a scoring forward in the NHL.
Strengths: Good skater with excellent speed, solid work ethic with good awareness in all three zones on the ice. Exceptionally stick handler and passer with good vision on the ice.
Weaknesses: Needs to add more strength and size to his frame to handle the physical play in the AHL and NHL. Needs to adapt to the smaller rinks as well in both leagues and also will need to improve along the boards.
Future Analysis: Jesper Fasth is a gifted winger who has a very high ceiling if all goes well in his development. He reminds me a great deal of former Ranger Petr Prucha; with the potential to be more consistent offensively and more defensive minded.