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Tyson Jost soaking up knowledge

Avalanche prospect taking in NHL experience at development camp

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- For Tyson Jost, attending Colorado Avalanche development camp this week is one more logical step in his path to the NHL.

"I'm just trying to soak up as much as I can and learn a lot," said Jost, selected by the Avalanche with the No. 10 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24. "It's a great organization. They have a great staff here with guys like [former Colorado defenseman Adam] Foote, guys that you can really learn a lot from. He's had a pretty amazing career in the NHL, so there are just little things you can take away and try to keep developing into a pro.

"That's my goal; I want to be an NHL player and I want to win a Stanley Cup. These things are just building blocks to that process."

Jost, 18, already has gained notoriety on the NHL stage. After the Avalanche picked him at the draft, he was embraced by his mother, Laura, for what seemed like an eternity, while his grandfather, Jim Jost, broke into tears of joy. The emotional moment went viral on social media.

"The longest hug ever, it was like a five-minute hug," Jost said with a smile that night.

Video: Avalanche draft F Tyson Jost No. 10

He couldn't hide his enthusiasm after putting on a blue camp jersey -- No. 72 -- before skating on the ice for the first time at the Avalanche's suburban practice facility.

"It's really exciting putting this jersey on," he said. "I can finally say I've thrown a Colorado Avalanche jersey on. It's pretty surreal, an exciting experience, and I'm just so happy to get things started with this organization."

Reminded he already wore a regular-season home jersey in the Pepsi Center locker room for media day June 27, Jost said, "Well, first time I was skating with it, I guess you could say. It's exciting."

Jost, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound center, will head to the University of North Dakota in late August after scoring 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) in 48 games as captain of Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League. He was named the Canadian Junior Hockey League National Player of the Year.

"I see myself as a 200-foot player who can play in any area," he said. "I'm responsible in the [defensive] zone and I can produce offensively, kill penalties and play on the power play. I take a lot of pride in playing that 200-foot game and being responsible and playing the right way."

Jost has nothing but respect for junior hockey, but he feels the chance to play in college against more seasoned competition can only hasten his development.

"You're playing against 24-year-olds, grown men," he said. "I'll get a little taste of that speed of maybe what it's like to play in the NHL. I'm a very driven individual, I want to be an NHL player and I'll do whatever it takes to get there. There's so much room for improvement and development, not only as a player but also as a person. I'm really passionate about that route and I can't wait to get things started at North Dakota. I really think they can help me turn into a pro.

"I want to improve every little part of my game. Everyone in the NHL is so skilled; even fourth-line guys are really good hockey players. I think the one [weak spot] that really stands out for me is my skating. I want to become a more explosive skater, and I think going to North Dakota can really help me with that."

Skating consultant Tracy Tutton worked with three groups of Avalanche prospects for 45 minutes each Wednesday, taking videos and advising ways to improve balance and stride.

"That's something that's really key for me," Jost said. "I'll continue to work on stuff like power skating and nutrition and all that stuff. It's been great so far and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. They've got everything you need here to be a good professional."

Jost is impressed with the Denver metro area, the place he hopes to call home in a year or two.

"The city's unbelievable. I can't believe how nice it is," he said. "It's a super nice city, and it's fun to be a part of it. I got a little tour, saw the Pepsi Center, saw where the [NFL's Denver] Broncos play, the baseball field and everything. I got a little taste of what it's like.

"I'll bring everything back from this week to North Dakota and develop for a year, or maybe it's two years, but like I've said, I want to be in the NHL as soon as I can. This is another chapter in my life, and I'm really looking forward to it."

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