We all can agree that Tyson Jost, regardless of his degree of improvement, isn’t going to match Cale Makar’s short- and long-term sucess with the Avalanche and/or in the NHL.
But there are nights, such as when Jost had a goal that was his 100th career point and did key penalty-killing work in the Avalanche’s 4-3 shootout win over Arizona Friday at Ball Arena, that Jost at least seems to be carving out a productive niche with Colorado.
Or kicking it up a notch.
I asked him about that after the game. He spent his equal-strength time on the fourth line, with Kurtis MacDermid and Mikhail Maltsev and also had five shots on goal.
“I’m always looking for more, for sure,” Jost said. “I’m just kind of … trying to keep better and better here and just looking for more consistency here. I like where my game is right now. It’s nice to get rewarded, but I always want more, always want to strive for more.”
In Jost makes major contributions, the Avalanche would have pulled off successful first-round choices of players from similar — and somewhat unique — paths.
Jost and Makar, the Avalanche’s first-round selections in 2016 and 2017, respectively, both were young players from Alberta who had just spent two full seasons in Junior A — notably, not major junior — and at the time were headed for U.S. college hockey.
For at least one season. Maybe two.
Jost, the 2016 choice from the Edmonton suburb of St. Albert, had played with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia (Junior) Hockey League.
Makar, the 2017 selection from Calgary, had skated for the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
The Avalanche’s choices of Jost and Makar involved risk, optimistic projection, and even to a point, patience.
To be fair before getting too much into comparisons, Jost went No. 10 overall in 2016, Makar No. 4 in 2017.
So the expectations were higher for Makar. He’s more than living up to them. (Add: Then again, as @jd16 reminds in comments below, Mikko Rantanen was a No.10 overall pick in 2015.)