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31 in 31

Top prospects for Colorado Avalanche

Jost, Compher could provide boost to forward group this season

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the Colorado Avalanche.

No longer interested in signing high-priced free agents or trading for older players, the Colorado Avalanche are attempting to rebuild through the NHL Draft and to promote from within the organization.

"We want to grow our kids and keep the youth movement going, and try and develop and have them grow together," general manager Joe Sakic said.

 

[AVALANCHE 31 in 31: Season preview | 3 Questions |  Fantasy breakdown | Behind the numbers]

 

Here are the Avalanche's top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

 

1. Tyson Jost, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 10 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Colorado: 6 GP, 1-0-1; University of North Dakota (NCAA): 33 GP, 16-19-35

Jost, 19, is a fast and highly skilled offensive player, a slick skater who has produced at every level. He displayed a quick shot and playmaking ability with the Avalanche after signing a three-year, entry-level contract March 29.

Jost (5-foot-11, 191 pounds) spent two months in Colorado after the season to work with Avalanche strength coach Casey Bond. Jost has patterned his game after Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, who also attended UND.

"Tyson controls the puck, has great offensive ability, and he makes players around him better," Avalanche director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple said. "He is a good passer, he sees the ice very well. He doesn't get intimidated, plays a big game and plays with lots of heart. His skill level is over the top."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

2. J.T. Compher, LW/C

How acquired: Trade with Buffalo Sabres on June 26, 2015

Last season: Colorado: 21 GP, 3-2-5; San Antonio (AHL): 41 GP, 13-17-30

Compher, 22, has speed, playmaking skill and the ability to take opponents off their game with his agitating nature. He plays a strong two-way game and should be an effective third-line forward and penalty-killer.

After a slow start following his March 1 recall from San Antonio, Compher (6-0, 193) had four points (two goals, two assists) in the final 10 games. He had two goals in eight games for the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: STL@COL: Compher buries juicy rebound for a PPG

 

3. Andrei Mironov, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 101 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Dynamo Moscow (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4

Mironov, 23, signed a two-year, entry-level contract May 12 after playing five seasons for Dynamo Moscow. He is a stay-at-home defenseman and has a reputation as a ferocious hitter. Mironov (6-3, 194) could begin the season with San Antonio of the AHL to get acclimated to the smaller North American rinks. He had one goal in six games for Russia at the 2017 World Championship.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

4. Cale Makar, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 4 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Brooks (AJHL): 54 GP, 24-51-75

Makar, 18, will begin his freshman season at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he will face a significant upgrade in competition after dominating the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He patterns his game after Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. The Avalanche have high expectations for Makar (5-11, 180).

"He plays the game the way the game needs to be played now," Hepple said. "He plays fast, he's skilled, he has the ability to be a game-changer. Once he develops, once he finds his main strength, once he matures, the sky's the limit for him. He's the generational player that everybody's looking for now."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

5. A.J. Greer, LW

How acquired: Selected with No. 39 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Colorado: 5 GP, 0-1-1; San Antonio (AHL): 63 GP, 15-23-38

Greer, 20, is a 6-3, 204-pound forward who plays with an edge. He has a strong shot and is especially dangerous down low. Greer made the 2017 AHL All-Star Game in his first season as a professional.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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