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Scott Takes: Tyson Jost deserves more credit for Game 1 performance…and for his efforts all year

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Tyson Jost

The story of Game 1 might be about captain Gabe Landeskog, and how his Gordie Howe hat trick provided the emotional spark that the Avalanche needed to push past St. Louis in Game 1. Most game recaps will also, inevitably, make reference to Nathan MacKinnon’s two-goal, three-point night, or yet another stout performance in net by Philipp Grubauer. And rightfully so.

But let’s not ignore the effort of Tyson Jost on Monday night.

“He was skating well, he had good energy, put some pressure on them up ice, created some turnovers,” head coach Jared Bednar said Tuesday afternoon. “His details in the penalty kill have been real good for quite some time now, starting last year late in the year when he really elevated his game and stepped into that role.”

Throughout the year, Jost has been playing some above-average, bordering-exceptional hockey, and he’s been one of the league’s best defensive forwards all year, and one of the team’s best penalty-killers. And like coach Bednar said, it’s been that way for quite some time now. Jost continues earn high-praise from his head coach, who just a few weeks back went on record stating that the 23-year-old is playing the best hockey of his career. He’s not wrong.

And, look, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never really seen the value in Tyson Jost. I know a lot of you reading this right now were—or perhaps still are—of that same opinion. I thought he’d be the one to go to Seattle this summer, and I was OK with that. I thought maybe the Avs rushed him out of college and into the big-times too fast. I thought his development took a bit of a nosedive because of it. I thought the former 10th-overall pick was a bust.

The operative word here is thought. Past tense.

And I’m starting to think I thought wrong about him.

Perhaps, Tyson Jost will never be the elite offensive threat he was in the NCAA or junior ranks, where once upon a time he recorded 42 goal and 104 points in 48 games, earning him the BCHL and CJHL league MVP titles. That has so far not translated at all at the NHL level. That is also not necessarily a problem when you look at the team Jost plays on, a team that finished the season as the best goal-scoring club in the league, and has been top-five over the last four seasons combined.

Crystal Ball Bonus!

Would more goals be nice? The answer is, of course, yes—obviously. Is that a role that they need Jost fill? No, not really. He’s filling in the gaps in other, equally-important ways.

What Jost lacks on the stat sheet, he’s making up for in spades in the intangibles—or, the things that aren’t necessarily measured, per se, but serve of equal importance. It’s something not nearly as valued or viewed as exciting by the fans, but something that will earn you the praise of the coaching staff. Those intangibles are what coach Bednar refers to as details, and Tyson Jost is among the most detailed players on the Avs roster.

Take last night for example. Coach Bednar lauded Jost’s line for their tenacity on pucks, their toughness to get through in the neutral zone and “doing the right things even through the bitter end of the third period.” It’s also something Jost, and his line, has done efficiently and consistently all season long.

Jost played just 14 minutes in Game 1 and was held off the scoresheet. However, his two hits were second among forwards and his four shots on goal were tied for second-best. Take a deeper dive into the analytics and you’d see Jost was among the team’s best players in Game 1. He finished tied for second in shot attempts behind Nathan MacKinnon; he was third behind MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen in Expected Goals; his 65% Corsi was fifth-best among forwards. He was noticeable in his efforts all night long, which is perhaps the biggest intangible of them all.

And, like I’ve said numerous times, it’s been that way all season long. This isn’t just about Game 1.

I was wrong about Tyson Jost. The Avalanche need him after all. And if he keeps playing the way he did on Monday night—the way he has all year—Colorado will continue to be the team to beat in this annual Stanley Cup tournament. He’ll likely also earn a nice contract extension out of it, too.

Hopefully it’s with the Avs.

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A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Scott has so far spent the early parts of his young career covering Colorado hockey — from the Avalanche to the Colorado Eagles to the DU Pioneers. His work can be found across sites such as NHL.com, TheAHL.com and SB Nation, among others. Scott currently resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, where he works as a Marketing Executive when he's not writing.

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Nadia Archuleta

We have to also give credit to the fact that Jost completely turned his game around. He was never known as being a defensive forward or one who spent time on th PK. But that’s what the team needed, so he put all his efforts into providing those skills. That’s not something a lot of even NHL-caliber players could do. Credit to Jost for that as well.

LastPlaceRob

Jost is making Joe put a lot of thought in whom to protect for the expansion draft! Like you, I’ve been watching Jost a lot more this season, and have been more and more impressed with his play.

JD16

Nice take Scott. I’ve always been in the Jost camp and seeing him come into his own has been nice to see. When it comes to the playoffs, yes you have the stars, but it’s that lower guy who’s why the cup is yours. I think Jost can be that guy. His ferocious forechecking creates a lot both in terms of offence and defence. It’s nice that people are starting to stop looking at him as a failed offensive player and starting to see him as what he is at this level. Also that Jost himself I think has realized… Read more »

Matt Briggle

I will admit, I have never given up on Jost as a player – I was just wrong about what type of player he would end up being. I have really noticed his play the last season and a half as he’s taken on more of the defensive load for the team. I also believe that he’s been on the protected list the whole time for the main reason that the Avs need Seattle to take one of those $3+ mil contracts in Compher, Donskoi, or Graves so that they have some cap space. I do think he has earned… Read more »

Jared Moss

Your comment about having to take a 3 mil player doesn’t really apply cause jost will be making 3 mil next year

John Klingenstein

Gotta say, I never had much doubt Tyson Jost would develop into a really good NHL player. Watching him in practice and warm ups etc you could easily see he’s got tons of skill and a killer work ethic. Was just a matter of time. Easily in the top 6 most skilled forwards on the team. Most fans dont really know hockey and are impatient but Burakovsky had 25pts when he was 23. I think youlk see Jost is start scoring a lot more in the next few years. I wouldnt be suprised to see 20-25 goals. Even Mackinnon didnt… Read more »

ricoflashback

What I notice most about Jost is his tenacity and speed. He creates a lot of havoc and pressure on opposing defenses that leads to scoring chances. Often times it won’t show up in the stats but it’s a direct result of his high octane play.

Dwayne Hall

If you rewind back to right before the 2019 draft the talk was about the Avalanche possibly trading Jost to Vancouver for Jake Virtanen. At the time I was on board completely with that move because it seemed like the basic “change in scenery” trade that might benefit most. Come back to today where Virtanen has found himself in trouble off the ice, and Josty has been, maybe not the player we thought, but definitely a contributor to this team. Besides the credit Sakic deserves on most of the moves he has made, but he also deserves credit for NOT… Read more »

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