By The Bakersfield Californian
It was a long shot back on Jan. 9, but getting the rights to defenseman T.J. Fast in a trade that sent Zach Choen to Greenville, S.C. has paid off for the Condors.
Fast (120 games at the American Hockey League level) will be in the lineup on Friday as the Condors play host to the Las Vegas Wranglers. He was a second-round draft pick of the L.A. Kings in 2005.
“We got (Greenville) to throw in the rights to Fast too sweeten the pot and it worked out,” Condors coach Matt O’Dette said.
But just barely.
“(Fast) was waiting out the lockout and then the lockout ended,” O’Dette said. “He got a tryout (with an AHL team) and that didn’t work out so he went to Europe.”
Fast did not play in a game while in Europe which is the only reason he’s eligible to play in the ECHL as the deadline to sign players who had played in Europe was Monday.
“That was the break of the week,” said O’Dette, who noted that Fast’s agent contacted him on Monday.
Fast (6-0, 190 pounds) has played 113 games at the ECHL level and has 71 points in 233 total pro games. He played 43 games in the AHL last season, all but one with the Hamilton Bulldogs.. He last played in the ECHL with Cincinnati in 2010-2011, putting up 27 points in 58 games,
“He’s offensive minded, can move the puck, skates real well and can play on the power play,” O’Dette said. “He can log a ton of minutes and play in all situations.”
The Condors (14-32-5) trail San Francisco by seven points as they try to get back into playoff position. But the Bulls have 26 games remaining and the Condors just 21, which means Bakersfield desperately needs to start winning games in bunches.
“He’s a No.1, No.2-type of defenseman who can log a lot of minutes,” O’Dette said of Fast. “Adding a player like that immediately changes the dynamic of your team.”