After struggling for much of the season and recently seeing his ice time dwindle, Tyson Jost is headed back to the AHL. The Colorado Avalanche today assigned Jost and Ryan Graves to the Colorado Eagles, giving them just 21 players on the roster.
Jost, 20, was the tenth overall pick in 2016 but has yet to really establish himself in the NHL. After a great freshmen season at the University of North Dakota, the offensive center signed his entry-level contract and made his debut down the stretch for the Avalanche. Last year he returned to the lineup full-time and recorded 22 points in 65 games, but has failed to really take a step forward in 2018-19. Jost hasn’t been asked to play center on a regular basis this season given his struggles in the faceoff circle, and it’s not clear exactly where he fits into the lineup in a perfect scenario.
That fit will have to be determined through his play in the minor leagues, as the young forward was clearly not progressing in the NHL. In 43 games he has just 15 points, despite being given ample opportunities on the powerplay for much of the year. Given that he does not penalty kill and is seeing fewer than ten minutes of even-strength ice time in recent weeks, playing in a top-six role for the Eagles is probably the best for his development. Jost can obviously be recalled at a moment’s notice given the proximity of the AHL team, and currently does not require waivers.
Graves meanwhile could be back up before the Avalanche hit the ice on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings, but he too had been used extremely sparingly by head coach Jared Bednar during his time in the NHL. The 23-year old defenseman has logged fewer than 12 minutes of ice time in each of his eight appearances, though he does have two goals already to show for his short NHL career.