It’s hard to look at last season as anything but a disappointment for Colorado Avalanche forward Tyson Jost. The 10th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft left the University of North Dakota after his freshman season and many expected him to have an intimidate impact on the Colorado’s lineup.
Things didn’t turn out that way. In fact, by the time the season was over, Jost had many fans suggesting that he should have spent another season in the NCAA.
It was a rough year, but one that may prove to be invaluable to the development of the 20-year old forward.
After being hampered by injuries through the summer and missing parts of training camp, Jost’s rookie season got off to a very slow start. The early season troubles were then compounded when Jost was on the wrong end of an incredibly dirty hit from Boston’s Adam McQuaid. Jost missed all but two games over the next six weeks as he recovered from his injuries and really only got his season fully started as the calendar turned to December.
It took until January before Jost was able to record five points in a month. He only scored two non-empty net goals before February 6th and at times had trouble staying in the top-9 of an Avalanche team that lacked any sort of depth behind their superstar top line.
Jost came alive in spurts after the All Star break as his ice time increased. He finished the season with 12 goals and 10 assists after a decent end of the season but all in all, it was an incredibly frustrating season for a 19-year old that many expected to contend for the Calder Trophy.
Now, coming into the 2018-19 season, Jost looks like a totally new player. He looks healthy, confident and ready to be the catalyst for a second scoring line that the Avalanche desperately need.
Playing alongside Alex Kerfoot, Jost is going to be counted on to provide the secondary threat that the Avs were missing last season.
One positive was that shot generation wasn’t a problem for Jost in his rookie season - his 6.99 even strength SH/60 rate put him fourth among Avalanche regulars last season. The problem is that his 6.9% shooting percentage was incredibly low - second worst on the team. With a little more puck luck aiding the SH%, Jost could have been a lot closer to 20 goals during a season in which he wasn’t playing close to his capabilities.
So that brings up the question of just how good is Tyson Jost?
Jost has talent through the roof. He’s a smart player that has the ability ot create his own offense but also the hands to finish for a playmaker like Kerfoot - even if his shooting percentage from last season suggests otherwise.
He has the potential to be an elite second line center in the NHL, it’s just a matter of harnessing the raw skills.
He has been flying since day 1 of Avalanche training camp this season. He seems to have come to back Denver with a little more speed in his game and he’s being rewarded as a result. Jost has been lining up on the team’s top powerplay unit. It looks like he’ll get the first opportunity to play the net-front position with the group of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Barrie. That is a lethal combination.
This means two things; that the coaching staff has the confidence that Jost is ready to be a vital part of the team’s offense and that he is going to be put in a position to succeed from a point production standpoint.
So how big of a jump should we expect from Tyson Jost this season?
Simple positive regression to his shooting percentage will help Jost’s goal total. Add to that a season of health and a developing confidence of playing alongside a high-end playmaker like Kerfoot and it’s easy to see Jost hitting the 25 goal mark this season.
Beyond that, Jost is going to have an expanded 5v5 role and a spot on one of the most lethal powerplay units in the league.
Is it crazy to project something close to 60 points for a 20-year old sophomore who only had 22 as a rookie? Maybe.
Whatever, I’m going to do it. Tyson Jost is going to get exceed 55 points this season and prove why we were all so excited about him 12 months ago.
When talking about second year players, we often here analysts mention a sophomore slump”. Not only should we anticipate that Jost won’t suffer from one, he’s been showing us that we should expect the exact opposite.
Tyson Jost is going to open eyes around the league this season and Avalanche fans are going to get a front row seat for it.
How many points will Tyson Jost get this season?
This poll is closed