Welcome to this year’s Top 25 Under 25 series. If you’re unfamiliar, we’re going player-by-player in a ranking of the top 25 Minnesota Wild players that are under the age of 25. It’s fairly simple. Enjoy!
Tyson Jost joined the hallowed ranks of the Minnesota Wild a few days prior to the trade deadline this past season in exchange for perennial fourth-liner Nico Sturm. At the time, the potential for Jost to break out with the Wild seemed, perhaps not a likelihood, but a definite possibility.
He played for the BCHL in order to go the NCAA route, and he averaged more than a point per game in one season at North Dakota. However, once he turned pro the Avs didn’t have him playing alongside Colorado’s most skilled and Jost didn’t have the opportunity to develop offensively, what they got was a reliable bottom-six forward and penalty killer.
A prospect analyst from The Athletic, Scott Wheeler, tweeted after the trade, “Jost was brutally misused in Colorado for my money. One of the rare times where I really didn’t think the Avs understood the player they had or how to get the most out of him/deploy him. I like him in the Wild lineup a lot.”
That certainly got me excited about what kind of player the Wild had on their hands, a team that had a history of taking players other teams had soured on and finding gems (Kevin Faila, Nino Neiderreiter, even Ryan Hartman and Marcus Foligno fit that bill.) However, Minnesota hasn’t deployed Jost in a dissimilar way than Colorado had, at least so far. In the 2021-2022 season he averaged 12:49 TOI with Colorado and and 12:51 TOI with Minnesota. He had a few opportunities to play up the lineup, in the dwindling days of the season with Minnesota, but for the most part, despite showing flashes of skill, Jost wasn’t given the opportunity to flourish in Minnesota. Whether that’s because Wild coaching brass truly didn’t see more skill than Colorado did, or Dean Evason wasn’t willing to shake up the lineup any as the Wild had seen so much success that season with the formula they were playing with at the time, or whether Dean Evason couldn’t move his emotional support Freddy Gaudreau.
Evason and his coaching staff have shown interest in shaking things up this coming season, and will definitely tinker during training camp, Jost will likely have opportunities to show his mettle then.
Jost ranks 10th in his draft class in games played and 15th in scoring. With the Wild he had 6 points in the 21, with expected goals against 2.09 per 60. His best season as a pro however, was likely 20-21. Still not especially offensive (17 points in 54 games), but he seemed to finally embrace the role Colorado had set out for him as a bottom six, defensive forward (plus-14 and a corsi for percentage of 58.7.) Dean likes responsible players, even up the lineup, so hopefully the years of defensive groundwork Colorado laid out will come in handy as he competes this fall.
Roll the Tape
One of Jost’s goals with Minnesota this past season, he sidesteps Nicholas Backstrom after completing a pass from Brodin.
Jost regains control of the puck in this highlight, with some really solid forechecking.
Listen, I know this clip is largely Kaprizov skating circles around everyone, but it’s also a moment where Jost displays his ability to finish when given strong playmaking from linemates.
I touched on this earlier, but Jost’s future with Minnesota will depend a lot on training camp coming up in, oh, today. Evason will potentially be tinkering with lineups and Jost will get some opportunities to play outside for the fourth-line and show whether his offensive skill exists at a pro level.
What could that look like? Jordan Greenway is reportedly still recovering from a surgery he received over the summer, so the GREEF line will not be in tact for the beginning of the season – Jost did have an opportunity to play on that line near the end of the year and it did not go well, but there’s every possibility they’ll try that again and play him on a wing rather than at center. He will likely also get an opportunity with some combination involving Matt Boldy or Marco Rossi, however, word is Freddy Gaudreau has come ready to play this year and there’s little chance Dean will demote him, so Jost would have to prove that Dean has no choice not to play him higher in the lineup. Unseating Ryan Hartman from between Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov feels like an unlikely task as well.
Furthermore, and probably to Jost’s dismay, the Sam Steel signing has likely made competition that much steeper. Steel is in a position very similar to Jost’s, first round draft pick, center, offensive skill that had been relegated to the fourth line.
I’d really like to see Tyson Jost excel in Minnesota, and listen, he’s no Kevin Fiala but Fiala also didn’t score 80 points for the Wild until he was given the opportunity to. Players like Jason Zucker seemed like an impossible hole to fill at one point too, and folks rose to meet the occasion. I don’t think Jost is necessarily the one christened to fill the Fiala sized hole but perhaps a combination of Jost and Steel and Rossi (et al.) could come close if given the opportunity.
Hockey Wilderness 2022 Top 25 Under 25
25. Mason Shaw, C/LW
24. Sam Hentges, C/LW
23. Simon Johansson, D
22. Hunter Haight, C
21. Nikita Nesternenko, C
20. Marshall Warren, D
19. Filip Gustavsson, G
18. Mikey Milne, LW
17. Mitchell Chaffee, RW
16. Pavel Novak, RW
15. Ryan O’Rourke, D
14. Daemon Hunt, D
13. Jack Peart, D
12. Tyson Jost, C
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