After a Friday report suggested 19-year-old center Tyson Jost of the Colorado Avalance might be allowed to play for Hockey Canada in the upcoming World Junior Championship in Buffalo in a few weeks, a new report from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post today suggests the opposite. In fact neither Jost nor defenseman Samuel Girard are likely to be allowed to leave Colorado.
The scribe writes that Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he didn’t see that happening.
“It’s not up to me, but if it were I’d say no. They’re part of our team and we need them,” Bednar said.
Both Jost and Girard have said they have not spoken to Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic about playing in the under-20 tournament, which will start on Dec. 26. The tournament already has two top Colorado prospects in 2017 first-round pick Cale Makar and second-round pick Connor Timmons.
Jost and Girard both play with the Avalanche, although both players playing time have dropped recently. Jost plays on the “Kid Line” with Alexander Kerfoot and J.T. Compher and is still finding his way, while Girard has seen his time drop under 20 minutes after playing above that mark during his first eight games with the team.
“I’m just getting in my groove after being hurt so long,” Jost said. “I want to be here. Hockey Canada, whenever you can represent your country, it’s such an honor. I had my chance last year. Right now, honestly, I’m just focusing on playing on the Avs, focusing on earning the coach’s trust and put up numbers. Obviously, I haven’t been doing that and I’m trying not to get frustrated because I’m getting my chances and getting that opportunity. It will come. That’s what I’m focused on right now and just getting in this rhythm.”
- Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News suggests that despite the Columbus Blue Jackets’ previous stance that they are looking for a top-line center, many within the organization now feel that last year’s third overall pick, Pierre-Luc Dubois, is starting to show that he might be that player they were looking for. Dubois has taken a step forward in his development and now is centering the team’s top line with Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson. Richardson even suggests that with the emergence of Dubois, the team might consider moving center Alexander Wennberg, who is struggling a bit this season after a 59-point season a year ago, and might be better off getting a chance on a different team, while the team focus on other areas of need. The team might need to get a center back, but with Brandon Dubinsky currently playing on the second line, the team might have an asset they could live without.
- Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, who left today’s game against the Detroit Red Wings after taking a shot off his right foot is considered day-to-day. Coach Mike Yeo said X-rays were negative and he will be re-examined when they return to St. Louis. Any time missed would be a huge loss for the Blues. The 25-year-old scored his 14th goal of the season before going down today.
- Staying with the Blues, The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford (subscription required) answers mailbag questions and writes that he doesn’t see the possibility of the NHL salary cap increasing potentially by $5MM as changing anything between negotiations between St. Louis and center Paul Stastny. Rutherford doesn’t believe that an increase in cap space will suddenly have general manager Doug Armstrong throwing money at Stastny. He believes the team has a set number in mind when it comes to Stastny and it will be up to him and his agent to decide if he wants to stay in St. Louis. The 31-year-old center hasn’t put up amazing numbers the last few years despite being paid $7MM AAV and will likely have to take a pay cut after his contract runs out at the end of the season. He currently has six goals and 20 points this season.