Tyson Jost’s grandfather cried when Tyson was selected by the Avalanche in the first round of the 2016 design. And again when he made his NHL debut and when he scored his first goal.
Jim Jost could cry again if his grandson is among the Avalanche’s seven protected strikers ahead of the July 21 draft expansion.
My guess is that the Seattle Kraken won’t be able to pick Jost, who a year ago was the young striker who failed to live up to expectations and a popular name before the 2020 close of trading.
“Sometimes the best steps are the steps you don’t take,” said Avs general manager Joe Sakic at the time.
Sakic didn’t specifically talk about Jost, but that quote certainly applies to him now. 23-year-old Jost is still not a consistent goalscorer, but what he does with and without a puck has made him a key tooth for one of the most talented teams in the NHL.
He is now a penalty-killing, puck-chasing, valuable energy type who is protected from strikers JT Compher and Valeri Nichushkin, among others.
“I’m driving very well at the moment,” said Jost recently. “I try to be competitive every time I go on the ice and achieve something. That was something that I really focused on. “
I asked Jared Bednar about Jost’s worth to the team and the Avs coach praised his center on the second row for 1 minute and 26 seconds.
“He’s a very determined guy right now. I like the way he plays, ”said Bednar. “He’s a trustworthy guy in the middle of the ice and on the wing now. He has some flexibility there. He was a valuable guy to us, no question about it. “
That’s the gist of it. But there is more.
Jost, the 10th overall selection in the 2016 draft, has accepted that being the Avs’ 13th top scorer is okay. Just scoring three goals in 45 games over the weekend and not playing on any of the power play units doesn’t make him a failure.
Jost in 2021: “Consistency, speed, determination and heaviness on the puck,” said Bednar.
Prior to that year, Jost tried to be the player he was drafted – a scoring machine like the six strikers selected before him, starting with Toronto’s Auston Matthews.
“Sometimes, as a young player, Tyson is a high-end offensive player. Maybe your defense habits are not that good. They are used to playing in traffic but the players are quicker to close. In these open spaces, they are much better with their sticks and their posture and it becomes much more difficult to get into the NHL, especially as a young player, ”Bednar said. “He’s learned to adapt his game, adapt his game, and he’s much heavier and stronger on the puck now than he was in the past.
“He’s a lot faster in some of these areas. Part of it is being better at the structure of the game, anticipation, knowing where the puck will go and which fight has to be won. “
Jost signed his three-year entry-level contract last summer and signed a modest one-year extension worth $ 874,125 for 2021. After this season, he can once again become a restricted free agent, and all signs point to doubling his salary , but still no more than what Compher ($ 3.5 million) or Nichushkin ($ 2.5 million) will do next season. This helps to protect Jost from Compher and Nichushkin, because the Avs have to find the money to keep the upcoming free agents Gabe Landeskog, Cale Makar and Philipp Grubauer.
If the Avs Landeskog don’t re-sign before the draft expansion, the left winger will be exempt and can protect Compher or Nichushkin. If Landeskog is signed before July 21st, I believe he and Jost will be protected along with centers Nathan MacKinnon and Nazem Kadri and wingers Mikko Rantanen, Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi.