Colorado Avalanche: Getting to Know Tyson Jost

Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Tyson Jost poses for a photo after being selected as the number ten overall draft pick by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Tyson Jost poses for a photo after being selected as the number ten overall draft pick by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche’s selection of forward Tyson Jost took me by surprise, but I think it will ultimately be good for the team.

I admit it — my reaction to the Colorado Avalanche drafting forward Tyson Jost was one of disappointment. I was so sure the Avs were going to select a big guy — specifically Logan Brown. When we got the diminutive Jost instead — whom we didn’t even create a draft profile for here on Mile High Sticking — I wailed on social media.

Now that I’ve had a moment to reflect — and watch some video — I’m pretty okay with the selection. More than okay really — Jost’ll eventually make a good contribution to the Avs.

Tyson Jost and the Colorado Avalanche

Tyson Jost is speedy. He really likes to go on the rush. He’s got a sneaky stride — he doesn’t look like he’s chugging (he’s not quite as dynamic as Matt Duchene), but he speeds past opponents.

Like Duchene, though, Tyson Jost has good hockey vision. He likes to shoot, and he can do it with accuracy.

Another way that Jost is like Duchene is that he’s a fierce competitor. As the announcers remark more than once in the video below, Jost will do anything to win:

In fact, that’s part of his leadership value. He’s super-focused. He reads the play well, and he has a nose for scoring. (He’s been compared to Jonathan Toews as well.) He definitely has it in him to be a difference-maker.

Or he’s been doing so at lower levels. He captained the 2016 Under-18 team at the IIHF Championship. He led the tournament in scoring and even broke Connor McDavid’s record for points at the tournament.

Something else that keeps coming up about Tyson Jost — he’s dedicated. (Yet another way he reminds me of Matt Duchene.) The announcers remark:

"“No matter what you ask of him, he’s going to give 100%. He’s going to give you the effort, the determination, the understanding of those areas of what goes into the game.”"

Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said something similar:

"“[Jost] does everything you can ask of a hockey player.”"

He just wants to win — and he wants to do whatever it takes to win.

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Something else that keeps coming up is that he improves the players around him. He’s not a selfish hockey player — he’s a playmaker, too. And he’s got the stick skills to make those plays. Even a bad pass becomes a scoring chance on his stick.

That’s part of what makes Tyson Jost a clutch player. He is perfectly capable of coming up big just when the team needs it — kind of reminds us of another Tyson, hm? He’s also got a killer instinct — something the Colorado Avalanche really need.

Truthfully, he’s not that small. He’s 5-foot-11, 190 pounds — that’s pretty compact. He’s just 18 years old, and he could still grow and fill out a bit. Nathan MacKinnon is said to have grown a full inch and added some bulk to that frame.

Facts About Tyson Jost

When Tyson Jost was just 13, he had the opportunity to go play for the Pursuit of Excellence school in Kelowa, B.C. But that was far away from his hometown of St. Albert.

So, Jost’s grandparents, who were on the brink of retiring anyway, moved out to Kelowa so the young teen could play in that elite program. His grandparents helped instill a strong work ethic in the boy.

Here’s his grandparents’ reaction to Tyson Jost being drafted by the Colorado Avalanche:

Tyson Jost is committed to playing for the University of North Dakota next year. The school has a good reputation for training players to become NHLers. Jost really is a player who can make a difference for the Avalanche two or three years down the line.

Interesting fact — Tyson Jost is color blind. He can’t see red or green — they look gray to him. Considering the two big Colorado Avalanche rivals wear Detroit Red Wing red and Minnesota Wild green, that should be interesting.

Actually, I envy Jost that he doesn’t have to understand how truly painful the Christmas vomit Wild uniforms are.

Another random observation — I like his retweets on Twitter. Small thing, but he retweeted that LeBron James should talk about the team, not himself. Also, he retweeted the Ray Bourque Stanley Cup memory.

There is WAY too much Chicago Blackhawks in this video, but it does an excellent job of highlighting what Tyson Jost brings to the table:

Changing Colorado Avalanche

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For the last couple years under GM Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy — who essentially run the team — the Colorado Avalanche have valued big, gritty players. They’ve slowly come more to speed and two-way play, and leadership is important. But size was essential as we saw with last year’s draft — not a single pick was under 6-foot.

Well, the Avalanche seem to be deviating from that. The other day they traded goalie Reto Berra for diminutive forward Rocco Grimaldi (5-6, 180 pounds). Now their first round draft pick is a little small, too.

The team is clearly building with vision. They have their mold, but they also have needs to fill. Grimaldi is going to be a good depth player next season. Jost can be a difference-maker in two or three years’ time — just as Duchene himself will be about to take on veteran status while Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon will be striding through their prime.

Next: Evaluating the Berra-Gimaldi Trade

Colorado has rebuilding to do even as they’re trying to become competitive now, The team has made it clear that the current core along with youngsters Nikita Zadorov, Chris Bigras, Mikhail Grigorenko and Mikko Rantanen have to take up the reins. Tyson Jost is going to have a couple years to develop.

When he does — he really can be an asset to the team.