Tyson Jost of the Penticton Vees in the BCHL is one of the most intriguing gambles in the middle of the first round.
Jost, like our 17th ranked prospect Dante Fabbro, was a member of the dominant Penticton Vees of the BCHL. Though they appeared the presumptive favourites as the playoffs started, Jost’s Vees were ousted by the West Kelowna Warriors in the second round. One could argue the Vees were destined for a better fate, but there’s no spinning their playoff loss as a knock on Jost, who led the team with 14 points in 11 games.
The bright side to their early exit was that it afforded Jost the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the U18 World Hockey Championships in North Dakota. Jost was able to use that tournament to assuage any concerns about the impact playing against a lower level of competition might have on assessing him, breaking Connor McDavid’s tournament points record with 15 points in just 7 games on Canada’s top line.
- Age: 18, 1998-03-13
- Birthplace: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
- Frame: 5’11” 190 lbs.
- Position: C
- Handedness: L
- Draft Year Team: Penticton Vees
- Accomplishments/Awards: 13-14 BCMML All-Star Team, Champion, Most Goals, Most Points, Telus Cup Bronze Medal, Western Canada Challenge Cup All-Star Team, Western Canada Challenge Cup Silver Medal 14-15 BCHL All-Rookie Team, Champion 15-16 BCHL First Team All-Star, Most Assists, Most Valuable Player, Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal, U18 WJC All-Star Team, Best Forward, Most Points, Top 3 Player on a Team, World Junior A Challenge All-Star Team, Gold Medal, Most Assists, Most Points, MVP. Basically everything.
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Jost was simply fantastic this season, putting up huge numbers for a 17-year-old in the BCHL, even when you adjust for its lesser league quality. He is a dynamic, athletic center with decent off-the-puck skills as well. Jost is one of the better skaters in his draft class, with an easy, explosive stride whose first few steps will be able to evade NHL checkers. He’s a highly-skilled puck handler who can execute high-difficulty plays in tight spaces, as well as make above-average passes.
Jost’s defensive play has shown significant improvement during this season. I didn’t love his defensive positioning last year, but by the world under-18 championship in the spring, he was arguably Canada’s best defensive forward. Bigger players can muscle him off pucks too easily at times. However, Jost does work his tail off, often being one of the hardest working players on the ice on top of being one of the most skilled. He has committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.
In his second full season in the BCHL playing for the Penticton Vees, Jost is a player who checks all of the boxes desired in a prospect. With elite hockey sense, top-end skating, and a competitiveness that is off of the charts, Jost can be counted on to play heavy minutes in every situation with effectiveness. Able to protect the puck from checkers, he is capable of controlling the play by utilizing exceptional anticipation and finding seams to generate offense. Combining a wicked wrist shot that he is liable to release from anywhere and at any time, with the ability to thread a cross-ice pass, Tyson is a dangerous offensive player whenever he steps on the ice. Jost is also a strong 200 foot player that is often first on the back check and produces a lot of dangerous scoring chances by supporting his team mates all over the ice. Though not blessed with great height, he does use his size effectively to drive to the front of the net and is fearless in traffic. Committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2016-17 season, Jost will play at least next season in the NCAA before going pro.
Very few players can claim the amount of success that Jost has experienced this year. He and Vees teammate Dante Fabbro both won gold at the Ivan Hlinka summer tourney and just won gold with Canada West at the World Jr. A Challenge. They’re also part of a juggernaut Penticton squad that has run up a 31-4-1 record in the B.C. League, which included an eye-popping win streak.
Tyson Jost is a crafty goal-scorer that carries out plays as quickly as he envisions them. As someone who thinks and plays at a fast tempo, it comes as no surprise that he creates a lot of energy as an offensive catalyst. He sees the ice very well and has the willingness and determination to win battles in the tough areas. All-in-all, a dynamic offensive forward with top-6 potential at the next level. – See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=148111#sthash.h2Lr9cm8.dpuf
Led the 2016 IIHF under-18 world championship in scoring with 15 points in seven games to break Connor McDavid’s record for most points in one tournament for Team Canada…Named 2015-16 BCHL Most Valuable Player, becoming youngest player in league to do so since Kyle Turris in 2007…Led the BCHL in assists (62), points per game (2.17) and finished third in the league in scoring with 104 points…Named MVP of 2015 World Junior “A” Challenge after he led Team Canada West to the gold medal, leading the tournament in scoring with nine points in four games…Played for Team West in 2016 BCHL Top Prospects Game…Registered three goals and an assist in five games for Team Canada as they won the 2015 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup… 2014-15: Named to BCHL All-Rookie Team after registering 45 points in 46 games…Tallied 10 goals in 21 playoff games to help Pentiction win the BCHL championship…Had two goals and an assist for Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior “A” Challenge…Had two goals and six assists in three games for Team Gold at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
It’s tough to come to terms with where Jost’s development is at given the lower level of competition faced in Junior A playing with the Vees of the BCHL. That’s not a well the NHL frequents, particularly in the early rounds of the draft. This year, though, Jost headlines a group of three players that could hear their name called on the first day of the draft. For context, there was one BCHL prospect drafted last year — the San Jose Sharks selected Marcus Vela in the seventh-round, 190th overall.
Top draft year BCHL players since 1996-97 by age & era adjusted P/GP, 2016 draft players highlighted pic.twitter.com/e5kBWqgLyL
— Hayden (@3Hayden2) June 3, 2016
When viewed solely through the lens of era and age-adjusted scoring, Jost compares most closely to Kyle Turris and Beau Bennett — decent to excellent company to keep. Turris’ name rears itself again when viewing Jost through pGPS, where the two bear a 93% similarity in their draft years.
Part of why Jost opted for Junior A rather than the WHL (where he was selected seventh overall by the Everett Silvertips in the WHL Bantam Draft) is that it freed him to pursue an education and commit to the University of North Dakota for next season. Assuming everything remains constant, I would expect that Jost plays on their second line, behind Chicago Blackhawks prospect Nick Schmaltz.
Though Jost has built his name on lofty point totals, it’s the development of his defensive game that’s solidified his position among the top centres in this year’s draft class. Part of that is his ability to read plays before they develop and use his explosive first step to close distances in an instant. Another is that Jost plays well outside his 5’11” frame and battles as hard as anyone on loose pucks. He’s not one to shy away from the less glamorous parts of playing centre.
It’s not a stretch to suggest that Jost offers the most well-rounded game among the second tier of centres in this draft. There aren’t many holes in Jost’s game, aside from the obvious height deficit he’ll suffer for his entire career playing professional hockey. If he can conquer that, there’s no reason Jost can’t contribute in the top-half of an NHL lineup for years to come.