Penticton Vees forward Tyson Jost knows a thing or two about winning. He not only won a BCHL championship last year, but he’s also led the Vees to an outstanding 23-1-0-0 start to the season in his sophomore year.
“It’s not only given me a sense of what it takes to have the will to win, but our whole team,” says Jost, whom NHL Central Scouting Service ranked as an A-list prospect (potential first rounder) in its initial ranking. “It’s fun to come to the rink with a winning attitude and have a competitive atmosphere in practice. You learn a lot and grow a lot in an atmosphere like this.”
The 6-foot, 195-pound Jost, who possesses elite speed, vision and soft hands, has noticeably elevated his game with the Vess this season. Look no further than his stats for proof of that, as he’s netted 21 goals and 47 points in 24 games following scoring 45 points in 46 games last year.
“I had a typical offseason workout where I tried to become a more explosive player and have a more powerful stride,” says the left-handed Jost, who can play centre and wing. “I think it has been paying off and I also spent time working on my shot. But I also owe credit to my linemates because they’ve been getting me the puck and we’ve been working well together out there.”
Ultimately, the St. Albert, Alta., native went against the grain when choosing his path of development. Instead of joining the WHL’s Everett Silvertips after they chose him seventh overall in the 2013 bantam draft, he decided to go the college route. He committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2016-17 season earlier this year.
“I was reassured that the college route was best for me when I went down to North Dakota and saw their facilities,” he says. “It’s a first-class organization and they have great fans and great coaches there. I’m really happy to have the opportunity to play there.”
Jost, 17, says he didn’t choose the NCAA route because of the academics that are involved, but rather for development reasons.
“School is in the back of my mind,” says Jost. “My main focus is on the NHL and playing in the NHL one day. I chose North Dakota because it’s a good fit for me and they have a great record at developing players and getting them to the NHL.”
1. Do you have a role model in the NHL?
“Jonathan Toews for sure. We’re on the same route (Toews played at UND) and he’s a great leader. Definitely someone I look up to in the NHL.”
2. Who’s your favourite NHL team?
“I like the Blackhawks and the Oilers. I’m a fan of the Blackhawks because of Toews and I like the Oilers because I’m from Edmonton. They aren’t doing that well now, but I have faith in them.”
3. You spent a couple of seasons with Pursuit of Excellence in Kelowna, B.C. What was your experience like there?
“It was an unbelievable experience there. It helped me on and off the ice to develop and I got a lot of experience there playing a lot of games. I really enjoyed playing at Pursuit of Excellence.”
4. Do you have a favourite band or genre of music that you like to listen to before a game?
“I’m one of those guys that doesn’t really care what’s playing before a game… Not before a game or anything, I like listening to Justin Bieber. I guess you could say I’m a Belieber.”
5. If you weren’t focused on hockey, what other sport would you be pursuing?
“That’s a tough question. I’ve always been into hockey… I’d have to go with ping pong. I like playing ping pong with the guys… so I’d want to be a professional ping pong player if I wasn’t playing hockey.”
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen