The Colorado Avalanche have sent defenseman Ryan Graves and forward Tyson Jost to the AHL Colorado Eagles as of Thursday afternoon.
Jost has produced six goals and nine assists in 43 games with the Avalanche this season and has collected 19 goals and 19 assists in 114 career NHL games with Colorado. Graves has posted two goals and six assists in 26 games with the Eagles this season and has netted two goals in eight NHL games with the Avalanche.
Graves has been with the Avalanche since December 27th, but with the return of Mark Barberio and Nikita Zadorov to the lineup, it was only a matter of time before Graves was sent back down. The Avs now have seven defensemen on the roster, Patrik Nemeth the obvious healthy scratch.
After leaving the University of North Dakota after only one season the Avalanche had high hopes for Jost who was selected 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. In his season and a half in Colorado Jost has been underwhelming - to put it mildly.
After getting hurt early last season, Jost simply was never able to get his rookie campaign on track. He bounced around the lineup and never looked fully comfortable in the NHL.
Now a season later, Jost hasn’t been able to show the development you want from a player with his pedigree. He was given opportunities on the second line - both wing and center - and even on the top power play unit but nothing has been able to click for the 20-year old. Recently he has been dropped to the fourth line and has seen his ice time decrease significantly. Jost only recieved a little more than eight minutes against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night in a 5-2 loss on the road.
It appears as though the team feels it’s time for Jost to go down to the AHL to gain some confidence and earn a spot back in the NHL lineup.
With only a few games left before the all star break this is likely a short term demotion. Being demoted can work as motivation for a young player - especially one with the natural talent that Jost has. He’s shown flashes of brilliance at points this season, but those flashes have been few and far between. Joe Sakic and the Avalanche front office likely believe that a few weeks in the AHL serves as 8motivation to get his game up to an NHL level.