Rangers right wing Jesper Fast is expected to be sidelined until November after undergoing labral surgery on his left hip, the team said Monday.
Fast, 25, a valuable two-way player for coach Alain Vigneault who has played 216 regular-season games over four seasons, is a restricted free agent but expected to be exposed for the special draft designed to build a roster for the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights later this month.
It is unclear whether Fast’s status will change Las Vegas general manager George McPhee’s decision on which Ranger to select. Each team can lose only one player to the Knights.
Lists of protected players from the 30 NHL teams are to be submitted on June 17. Other Rangers likely to be available are goalie Antti Raanta and forwards Michael Grabner and Oscar Lindberg.
Fast, who skates primarily on the third and fourth lines and kills penalties, had six goals and 21 points in 68 games in 2016-17 and three goals and three assists in 12 playoff games. The Swedish forward was selected by teammates to receive the Players’ Player Award for the second consecutive season.