Colorado Avalanche: Tyson Jost Brings Excitement to the Team

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 /

Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost will play against the St. Louis Blues on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene in his NHL debut.

Colorado Avalanche prospect Tyson Jost has cleared United States immigration and is slated to play his first NHL game against the St. Louis Blues at home.

With just six games remaining in the worst season of Avalanche history (though not franchise history), there has been little to get excited about this year. GM Joe Sakic announced as far back as January he knew the team wasn’t making the playoffs this year, and the Avs were officially eliminated in early March.

However, the young center who went 10th-overall in last year’s draft has brought new life to Avs Nation.

About Tyson Jost

Position: Center, shoots left
Age: 19 (Born March 14, 1998)
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 191 pounds
Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.

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Tyson Jost was the Colorado Avalanche’s first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The selection showed the team’s new direction — getting smaller with skill and speed being emphasized. (Logan Brown was still available, and he was in the previous mold of being a big, talented two-way player.)

Speed and energy are the bywords when it comes to Jost. He’s Matt Duchene-sized, and he looks to be a similar style of player, too. (Though I daresay Duchene is probably still faster.)

Jost played 33 games with the UND Fighting Hawks, earning 16 goals and 19 assists. Previously he captained the 2016 IIHF U-18 Team Cananda in the World Championship. He led the tournament with scoring — 6 goals, 9 assists — and broke Connor McDavid‘s record for scoring.

Prior to that, Jost was named 2015-16 British Columbia Hockey League MVP for tallying 42 goals and 62 assists with the Penticton Vees.

Jost’s Thrill

Tyson Jost took a minute to make the decision to turn pro, and that’s ok.

The University of North Dakota was his dream school, and he had a fantastic year with the Fighting Hawks. In fact, Jost said in his first Colorado Avalanche interview of UND:

"“North Dakota was great to me and I have the utmost respect for that organization and everything they’ve done for me in that year. I could go on and on and talk about how great that program is and how much they did for me and the coaching staff there and all the players.”"

He had really wanted to win a championship with the team, but the Fighting Hawks were eliminated last weekend.

It made us wonder if Jost would stay at UND or if he’d make the jump to the pros:

Well, his dream has always been to play in the NHL:

"“At the end of the day, I’ve dreamed about this my whole life, of playing in the NHL, and it was right there in front of me and I thought why not take it. This is my dream.”"

Since his dream was to play in the NHL, it made total sense to sign the contract now. Naturally, he could have finished out his year at college and signed with Colorado this summer. He also could have played another year at UND to make another run at the national championship.

However, Jost had the best chance right now to debut in the NHL. Next year he’ll have to fight for a roster spot, so waiting to sign until this summer wouldn’t have guaranteed him NHL minutes any time soon. (Indeed, I still think he’ll need some development at the AHL level.)

And waiting one more whole year to turn pro seems unnecessary when your NHL team needs you.

It turns out, seeing the physical evidence of all his hard work in the form of an NHL contract is what helped make the final determination:

"“A lot went through my head, but then when that contract was in front of me, I thought, ‘Yeah, this is my dream, and this is what I’ve wanted all my life. I’ve worked for almost 18 years to get to this point.’ So I thought I’d sign.”"

He’d already seen his UND teammate, Brock Boeser, make the leap, get NHL minutes and score in his first NHL game. And the Colorado Avalanche were already saying they’d put Jost into NHL action right away. That will give him an edge in knowing how to train this summer to make the team next fall.

Tyson Jost is a part of the Avalanche’s rebuild process, and he well knows it. There must have been a moment when he thought about leaving a championship-ready team, the Fighting Hawks, for a team seemingly a long way from playoff contention like Colorado is.

However, Jost understands what his role on the team is meant to be:

"“I want to be a part of the rebuild, and I want to do whatever I can to help this team in that rebuild stage. Obviously, they’re struggling a little bit right now, but I think I can bring some energy and some pace into this lineup.”"

I don’t think I need to say that such a nice young man as Tyson Jost stated over and over that he’s honored, happy and proud to be part of the Colorado Avalanche.

Jost’s Playing Style

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is Tyson Jost’s stated idol, and Toews is renowned as a two-way center. Indeed, his Penticton Vees coach, Fred Harbinson, described Jost thus:

"“In the offensive zone, he has elite instincts. Defensively, he takes a lot of pride. He’s not an offensive player who could care less about the other side of the puck. He’s always on the right side of the puck.”"

It sounds like Jost likes to keep his defensive responsibilities in mind.

That seems to have caught the attention of Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, who described Jost the following way:

"“Tyson is an all-around player. He competes, plays the game hard and is reliable at both ends of the ice.”"

Defensive responsibility, in addition to speed and skill, are still going to be emphasized by the team.

That said, don’t look for Tyson to be a defensive wiz just yet (anymore that the other Tyson is). While it’s said Jost will likely center a line with Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog — which is top-six, obviously — he’s out there to get some NHL experience.

Next: Jost Ready to Prove Legit

And to provide some excitement. Like I said, there is little to be excited about in the remaining six games of the season. Watching our newest addition to the Colorado Avalanche is just the spark we all needed.