Forward Tyson Jost was selected No. 10 overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York.
Jost played for the University of North Dakota during the 2016-17 campaign, where he recorded 16 goals and 17 assists over 33 games. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Colorado on March 29 and made his NHL debut two nights later against the St. Louis Blues on home ice. He played in the Avs' final six contests of the season and finished with one goal, which he registered against the Minnesota Wild on April 6 at Pepsi Center.
While he had a solid first entrance into the NHL, the St. Albert, Alberta, native has been hard at work to continue developing his skills, including attending the Avalanche's development camp at the end June.
ColoradoAvalanche.com caught up with the young gun at the team's development camp to talk about his experiences, training, family and goals for the upcoming season.
What was it like being back at the Avalanche Development Camp?
"It's exciting. Obviously to see all these new young faces, it's nice to see them. I want to be more of a leader because I have been here before. Last year I looked up to a lot of the older guys, and I want to be that guy this year. It's exciting to be back. It's a great week where they teach you a lot and you learn a lot."
You say you want to bring on more of a leadership role, what qualities do you feel that entails?
"I remember last year I didn't know really what to expect. I got to talk to the older guys who had been here before, and they walked me through things so I didn't go into it with a blind eye. That's what I am doing this year, on and off the ice, and I think that is really big. Being a professional, that is what it takes to grow in the National League. A lot of kids are focusing on outside the rink stuff, so I want to set an example like bearing down on nutrition. Really just leading by example."
What is your biggest takeaway from development camp?
"I remember last year they focused a lot on the off-ice stuff, and this year they are focusing more on the on-ice stuff and the little things that will improve your game and help you be in the National League. That's the thing I have taken away this year, just focus on the little skills. I also learned that last year in the six games I played--that you have to focus on the details that can help your game."
What is the one thing that you want to improve on?
"I would probably say my skating, especially the first three steps. That is something I am really working on. You can see how fast the NHL is right now and everybody can skate, so I have been working on that all summer and I think it is improving tremendously. I look back to two years ago, and I can already see the strides I have taken with that. You can never be too good at it, so I want to keep working on that."
How have you liked having skating coach Tracy Tutton help you?
"I think she is awesome and unbelievable for our program, so it is great to have her again this year. I worked with her a lot last year, so it was amazing having her this year. She is someone you can keep in contact with throughout the summer and season. She is always there to help. She is so smart and you can see the pro players she has worked with, a lot of big names in that group, so it is special having her out there with us. When she talks, you listen."
How did playing at the University of North Dakota prepare you to make the jump with the Avalanche?
"UND was awesome. They are a prestigious program. You look at all the players they developed in the NHL, that's one of the reasons I picked the program--they know how to develop players. I am so happy with my time up there. It was short and sweet, but my time was unbelievable and I owe a lot to the coaches and teammates. It is something I will remember for the rest of my life and will stand out as a great year. I think it really prepared me to come to the Avs and play those last few games, to get a taste of the NHL. I don't think I would have been able to make that jump if I wasn't at North Dakota, so I'm very happy with my time there. It's just a special place."
We know your mom and grandpa were at your first NHL game and is a big part of your support system. Can you talk about that relationship?
"I was raised by a single mom, which I don't think my mom gets enough credit. She kind of hides behind the scenes. My grandpa after work, he would pick me up and we would go to the rink. He's always been involved in my hockey. He moved out to Kelowna (British Columbia) [with me for hockey], and my uncle lives up there so it worked out perfect. We lived up there for about two years. He's been by my side. But like I said, I don't think my mom gets enough credit for what she does. My grandpa was on TV, and that's awesome, but I don't think he likes it (laughs). Really it's my mom who is back home doing stuff that makes this family go round. She's the one who made me the person I am today."
If you could say one thing to your mom, what would it be?
"Oh what, putting me in the spot? I would thank her for everything she has done throughout my life. I don't see too many moms who raised two kids by themselves, work around the clock, and work to get you to practice and my sister to gymnastics and dance. Those two girls are the rocks of my life."
Video: Alexis interviews Laura and Jim Jost
Is your sister a hockey player?
"No, she's not. I tried to get her into it for a few years, but she quit on me. She plays volleyball though. She is going to school at UBC (University of British Columbia) for volleyball, so she is quite the athlete herself."
What are your summer plans?
"I am going back to Kelowna for a little bit. I will start my training there with a few guys that I have been working with for the last three or four years. I will work with my strength and conditioning coach, Shawn Stead, as well as my skills and on-ice coaches, Evan Marble and Dean Caban. Those three guys are spectacular. My summer offseason program in Kelowna is a great spot to be in because it is so nice, and you are around all the beaches. Plus, there are a lot of pros there too. It's a great spot to develop your game, and I think it will help me move on and make an impact."
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
"I want to be a full-time Av. That's my main goal for sure. I want to make an impact in the lineup and help move this team in the right direction. We didn't have the year we wanted to last year, but I think we are moving in the right direction. So that is my main goal, to be a full-time Av and really make an impact."
What is your favorite Denver hangout spot?
What is the most played song on your iPhone?
"Justin Bieber. I don't think I can pick one song, but for sure him. Then maybe some country, Eric Church."
What is the worst habit of a teammate?
"A.J. Greer and his Instagram."
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite quote?
"The harder you work, the luckier you get."
Video: Jost on attending his second camp