Colorado Avalanche Start Tyson Jost Watch

Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Tyson Jost puts on a team jersey 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 puts on a team jersey 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 /

Now that Colorado Avalanche prospect Tyson Jost’s NCAA hockey season is over, we’re watching to see when he signs with the NHL team.

Colorado Avalanche prospect Tyson Jost’s collegiate hockey season has come to a close. His University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks were eliminated in a heartbreaking double overtime loss Friday afternoon. (Quick note: The game hinged on a disallowed offsides goal. So, NCAA refs can get it right, but NHL refs can’t.)

Anyway, now that Tyson’s season with the NCAA is over, the Jost Watch begins. Will the young forward go pro by signing with the Colorado Avalanche, or will he play one more year of collegiate hockey?

His Fighting Hawks teammate, Brock Boesner, made headlines by jumping from the double OT loss on Friday afternoon to NHL action on Saturday afternoon — and even scored his first NHL goal.  Boesner is a year older than Jost, so he was a sophomore.

Fellow Mile High Sticking editor Ross Sellers thinks the fact that Jost hasn’t signed with the Avalanche yet means he’ll play one more year of collegiate hockey for the Fighting Hawks. (Read more here.)

On the other hand, Denver Post writer Mike Chambers thinks Jost will be “one and done” with UND, meaning he’ll sign with Colorado and at minimum report for rookie training camp next fall.

That said, Chambers spoke with Jost when his Fighting Hawks played against the Denver University Pioneers March 17. He didn’t directly ask Tyson if he would sign with the Avalanche right away, but he pointed out that Jost is the “no. 1 prospect for the NHL’s worst team.”

Jost responded by saying that he hadn’t “really thought about it much.” He added:

"“I’m just focused on this year. My goal was to come to North Dakota, develop as a player and win a national championship. I’ll focus on (signing) when the time comes.”"

Well, UND is not winning a championship this year, so if that’s still his goal, Jost is probably going to be a Fighting Hawk next season, too.

Naturally the decision is all up to Tyson Jost and his family. However, I’m going to add my two cents anyway.

More from Mile High Sticking

First of all, if your goal is to get a college education, and sports is your way to do it, then by all means stay in college no matter what. I am a huge proponent of education. An education will still be there after an athlete’s professional career is over.

However, that seems to be more of a focus for players who might not be capable of stellar NHL careers. I’m thinking of Nate Guenin and everyone’s beloved All Star, John Scott. Both have college educations, and maybe that will provide a career path for them when they hang up the skates.

It’s unlikely that’s Tyson Jost’s future, though. Maybe he won’t be a superstar like UND alum Jonathan Toews, but he looks good to have a decent if not great NHL career.

Now, I can understand wanting to win a championship. UND is a solid team, and are still the reigning champions for a few more days. It’s likely the Fighting Hawks will make another run next year.

However, Jost, like every other hockey player, dreams about winning the ultimate championship — the Stanley Cup. And you only do that by playing in the NHL.

The Colorado Avalanche, unlike the UND Fighting Hawks, are nowhere near the level of competing for a championship. And the other big aspect of Jost’s aspirations are to develop as a player.

Well, the Avalanche’s development system has been pretty poor in recent years. However, the AHL is still a development program for the NHL, while NCAA isn’t necessarily.

Center Nathan MacKinnon made a point about NCAA development — it’s not even as rigorous as major juniors. He stated that his own child would play in major juniors over collegiate hockey because they get to play more games. Rather than a week of practice followed by weekend games, major juniors play an NHL-like schedule.

MacKinnon explained:

"“I like getting into a rhythm. I feel like I play better when I play more.”"

Well, the AHL plays a schedule more like the NHL, too. Plus, the it’s all about developing players to play at the NHL level. Even if there have been some problems with the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate in the past, it’s still geared toward feeding players into the NHL team.

Next: Jost Looks NHL-Ready

I also opined in a previous post that the Avalanche need Jost to start his NHL development sooner rather than later. In my opinion, if you’re NHL-bound, and your NHL team is expressing their need of your services, you sign and play.

Really, what is the point of around 30 games of collegiate hockey over 76 games of AHL hockey when your ultimate goal is to get ready for 82-game NHL seasons?

I don’t know that Jost needs to sign right now and start playing tomorrow. I think it actually makes sense for him to complete his freshman year of college. Why leave that hanging?

After that, though, “when the time comes” should be this summer — Tyson Jost really should focus on signing with the Colorado Avalanche and getting NHL-ready.