Renata Fast has had quite a rise up the ranks of Canadian hockey over the last few seasons. The 22-year-old blueliner from Hamilton, Ontario went to her first IIHF Women's World Championship earlier this year where she helped Team Canada to a second-place finish.
Now, Fast is on the fast track to a spot at the Olympics, as she’s been named to Team Canada’s short list for February. After such strong showings at the international and collegiate level, Fast ranks No. 9 on our countdown.
Fast spent four years patrolling the blue line for the Clarkson Golden Knights women's team. During her time at the NCAA level, Fast put up 57 points in 144 games played, and overall she was a plus-91 point player after four years.
In Fast’s sophomore year in 2014, Clarkson took home their first NCAA championship win against top-seeded Minnesota in a 5-4 victory. That season, Fast posted 12 points and was a plus-46 player through 41 games.
The next season was her best at Clarkson, as Fast had 18 points in 29 games. In her junior and senior years, Fast was one of Clarkson’s alternate captains.
In 2014 and 2015, Fast was selected for Canada’s National Women’s Development Team, where in 17 total games played she put up six points. Fast made her Team Canada debut in the 2015 4 Nations Cup and played in the same tournament the following season.
Currently, Fast is a member of the Toronto Furies of the CWHL. She was taken second overall in the 2016 draft and in her first season she had nine points in 22 games. After a solid first season, Fast was named an All Star for the 2016-17 season along with earning a nomination for the CWHL’s Rookie of the Year award.
It’s hard not to see Fast as a promising future for Team Canada’s blue line. At 22 years old, Fast is likely leading the next wave of young blueliners for Canada, a system that has produced such stalwarts as Jocelyne Larocque and Tara Watchorn.
She’s also poised to be a future leader of the Furies, alongside blueliner and former teammate at Clarkson Erin Ambrose.
Is this ranking too high or too low?
Unlike many players above her on this list, Fast isn’t going to put up the offensive numbers to keep her in the conversation. However, that’s not her job on the blue line, and what she does, she does extremely well.
Her first taste of Olympic competition will be a big one this February, where she’ll finally have the chance to take on international competition on the biggest stage in the world.