Former Pioneer T.J. Fast Traded Again

(left) T.J. Fast was traded on Tuesday

St. Louis and Florida pulled off a minor trade Tuesday as 22-year-old defenseman T.J. Fast heads to the Panthers in exchange for 31-year-old forward Graham Mink.

Fast, a former player at the University of Denver, was a second-round pick in the 2005 Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. The Blues acquired him on June 4, 2008 and Fast has been in their system ever since.

Fast split last season between the ECHL and AHL, scoring 31 points in 46 games with the Alaska Aces and adding one point in 18 games with the Peoria Rivermen. He had five points in 46 AHL games in 2008-09.

Mink is a career minor-leaguer since 2001.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't TJ the one who they'd always send flying into the attacking zone with the puck? He'd start way back behind the DU blue line and skate like a lightning bolt along the boards and loop around the net then feed it to someone at the point. Or am I thinking of Corbin that always did that? It was a dead-giveaway after a while, because he did the exact same thing everytime and they set it up the same way. When it worked, it was pretty cool to watch.

puck swami said...

I remember Fast as a fairly typical freshman who started slowly and made typical rookie errors. But by the end of his Freshman year and the beginning of his sophomore year, he looked like he was going to be a decent college player. His problem was that he expected to be on the PP when there were better options - Carle ran the PP in Fast Freshman year and Butler was running it in TJ's sophomore season. Bottom line was he should have stayed.

Anonymous said...

TJ went to the WHL Tri-City Americans where he captained them enroute to the division championship title. The same year he was nominated as best D in the western conference nudged out only by Karl Alzner, of the Hitmen of the WHL

The ice time & coaching made available by Tri-City Americans is what TJ needed - to develop you need ice time and the Americans provided that and were rewarded by TJ's leadership.

puck swami said...

And where did all that Major Junior extra "ice time" lead him? The reality is TJ is a career minor leaguer to date, bouncing between the AHL and ECHL and traded away by two different NHL organizations and he's still 22 years old. He's was seen as expendable by two teams already and is unlikely to reach the NHL. Most drafted players never see the NHL, therefore, it's good to have a fall back plan.

If he was smart, he would have stayed in college, got his degree, become stronger and more fundamentally sound playing against older and stronger players with the increased practice to game ratio and the increased in-season weight room time that college hockey offers.

Even if after college he's still only an AHL player, at least he's there with a degree, which makes transitioning into 'real life' easier vs. starting over again in school.

A truly great player will make the NHL whatever developmental route they choose. A less-than-great player like TJ should have a back up plan.

Anonymous said...

Fast never impressed me. He played way too soft for a WCHA dman.