Superbowl weekend is upon us and the Carolina Hurricanes have one more match tomorrow before the big game on Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Patrick Mahomes face off as the top players in their position. Jesper Fast is gaining momentum toward the Brock Purdy nickname from the NFL draft.
In the NFL draft, the player who is taken with the last pick in the entire draft is called Mr. Irrelevant. Amazingly, Purdy was taken with the last choice in the 2022 NFL Draft by San Francisco. On Sunday, he will be the first Mr. Irrelevant to play in the Super Bowl.
Fast has been Carolina's Mr. Irrelevant for most of this season but more specifically in the last month. The 32-year-old veteran signed a fresh, new multi-year contract this summer to remain in Raleigh. With a cap hit of $2.4 million this year and next season, the Swedish forward was expected to bring his best game to the contending Canes this season.
So far Fast and his line mates have looked slow and past their prime which has caused some inconsistency for the team overall. Not having the season they expected, the Hurricanes sit behind the New York Rangers for the lead in the Metro Division.
The former New Rangers draft choice has just 5 goals and 7 assists this season. He is on pace for one of his lowest production years in his career and more concerning is his defensive game. A -2 rating, Fast has been a step slower and out of position more often than not.
Since the last game of the 2023 calendar, Fast has just 1 goal and no assists. In those 11 games, he is a -3 and barely cracking 10 minutes of average ice time. It is concerning as he was a veteran this team was counting on him to play big minutes at the end of the game.
It is only natural to think that the Canes will look to improve Mr. Irrelevant's position at the trade deadline. This is not the year to have mediocrity from their veterans with this being a Stanley Cup or bust type of season.