Hot off the presses: Tyson Jost has been traded. He’s going to the, gulp, Minnesota Wild in exchange for Nico Sturm.
“Nico is a big, strong forward who also brings a heavy defensive presence. He is a defensive-minded center who can chip in offensively, is good on draws and can contribute on the penalty kill,” said Joe Sakic, in a team release.
I think we have a new fourth-line center here, somebody who is considerably bigger than Jost – at 6-3, 209. As Sakic said, he’s a good defensive player who chips in offensively only on occasion. He had 11 goals last year in his rookie season, and had nine goals and 17 points in 53 games this season for the Wild. He’s only 26. He mostly centered the fourth line with the Wild, and those offensive numbers aren’t awful for a fourth-liner.
He was tied for third among NHL rookies last year in plus/minus (+10) and tied for 10th in goals. He finished the regular season tied for fourth on the team in goals and tied for fifth in plus/minus rating. His 11 markers were tied for sixth by a rookie in Minnesota franchise history. Sturm added two points (1g/1a) in seven playoff contests and led the team in plus/minus rating (+1) during the postseason.
Sturm’s faceoff-winning percentage for the Wild this season: 51.7 percent. The Avs needed help in that department. Jost’s faceoff percentage: 39 percent. Sturm’s cap hit is only $725,000 (Jost’s was $2 million), but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
My initial take: it’s tough to see a quality guy like Tyson Jost go. He’s a true pro, never once whined about a thing here and was very active in the community. But, let’s face it, he was a disappointment here. He came out of North Dakota with a big reputation and was a first-round pick. He was given ample opportunity to be a top-six forward, but the offensive consistency just was never there.
He had been playing almost exclusively on the fourth line for a while now, and was a healthy scratch in a game recently. His ice time had been diminishing. His defensive play is/was pretty good, but he wasn’t a good enough faceoff man and he was part of a PK unit close to last in the league.
I haven’t seen Sturm enough to be able to sit here and definitely say what kind of player the Avs are getting. But, again, as if it wasn’t made clear with the Josh Manson trade last night: the Avs thought they needed to get bigger as a team going into the playoffs.
I did ask someone who sees the Wild play every night what he/she thinks of Sturm, though, and got this assessment: “Big, tenacious forechecker. Not great hands. Impeccable shape. Better quote.”
As a media dude, I like that last part.
I think Joe Sakic, on paper, made a good deal here. I know a lot of Jost fans are very disappointed right now. But, yeah, it’s a business. The Avs just got more cap space and got a big, young player who’s played regularly in the league for two years now, who makes them a lot bigger up front.
It’s going to be very weird seeing Tyson Jost in a Wild uniform, that’s for sure.
One last thing:
Avs still set up for another big move. I think they're still in on Giroux. St. Louis a stealth player too. Remember, Giroux doesn't have to accept any deal – and it's clear he never wanted to leave Philly. Be interesting to see what happens
— Adrian Dater (@adater) March 15, 2022