In advance of Wednesday night's game against the Washington Capitals, the Colorado Avalanche announced that top prospect Tyson Jost had been signed to a three-year Entry Level Contract.
Tyson Jost, 19, was drafted 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft with the Avalanche's top pick. The forward known for his 200-foot game earned all kinds of accolades during his draft year season, and earned high marks in our own pre-draft coverage at BSN Denver. Tyson Jost matched Connor McDavid's U-18 World Junior Championship points record with 15 points in just seven games played, and back home in the BCHL, he scored a mind-boggling 42 goals and 104 points in just 48 games played. Respected as a leader in every organization he's joined, Jost served as captain on both the Penticton Vees and Team Canada in his draft year.
Tyson Jost's post-draft season at the University of North Dakota has been no less impressive. The college freshman took on first line responsibilities almost immediately in a top flight program and finished his season with 16 goals and 35 points in 33 games played. Not only did the true freshman finish his season just two-points shy of the team scoring lead despite playing seven fewer games than linemate Shane Gersich, but he made frequent appearances on NCAA highlight reels with goals like this:
Despite his inexperience, Jost made an immediate impact on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, playing critical roles in all phases of the game. Jost was particularly impressive in North Dakota's 1-0 upset win over the University of Denver Pioneers in the NCHC semi-final. He assisted on the game's lone goal and played big minutes in the third period matching, and shutting down, the Pioneer's top offensive players.
Although North Dakota hasn't graduated a freshman hockey player to the NHL since Ed Belfour in 1986, Jost's well-rounded game and maturity made him a likely bet for NHL action after the Hawks were bounced from the NCAA tournament by Boston University in double overtime.
According to General Manager Joe Sakic, the 2016 1st rounder will join the Avalanche and play in his first NHL games during their final 6 games of the season. With just seven games remaining on the Avalanche's 2016-2017 season Jost cannot burn the first year of his ELC by reaching the ten game mark and his contract will slide into the 2019-2020 season. Jost could debut for the Avalanche as soon as Friday night, making him the second North Dakota player to graduate to the NHL this Spring. Jost's teammate Brock Boeser (16 goals 34 points 32 games played) joined the Vancouver Canucks last week after completing his sophomore season and has two goals in his first three NHL games.
Jost is a critical part of the Avalanche's coming youth movement, earning the #7 spot on BSN Avalanche's Top 25 Under 25 list last summer. While Jost's graduation from the NCAA may have come quickly, influenced by the Avs' own needs at forward, this final handful of games offers him an excellent development opportunity to get a taste of the NHL and head into the summer hungry for more.