Tyson Jost using lessons learned at UND to transition to NHL
DENVER — Tyson Jost spent just one year at UND.
But the standout centerman absorbed as much as he could and is already putting it to use during his first month-and-a-half of pro hockey with the Colorado Avalanche.
Fitting into a pro lifestyle?
That hasn't been difficult.
"One thing I took away from UND is that it's such a professional program," Jost said. "Everything from the facilities to the coaching staff to the players to how you're treated there. I think when I stepped into Colorado, I knew what to expect just because UND is so professional and they help you make that step to the next level.
Getting ready to play at the next level?
That has been a fairly smooth transition, too.
"UND helps make that adjustment to the next level," Jost said. "That's why you see so many guys in the NHL right now from UND. It's because they know what they're doing.
"UND set me up. It's a hockey factory at UND. The time you spend on the ice with the coaches, the time you spend working on your skills, the time you spend in the weight room with Pooly (Mark Poolman), it was just awesome and it really helped me make my adjustment."
Jost has missed the last month due to a lower-body injury and has used lessons learned at UND on how to cope with it, too.
"It's been tough with the injuries," Jost said. "Obviously, that's not how I envisioned my first month of full pro hockey lifestyle here. I've really only been injured once, and that was last year with my high ankle sprain, and I wasn't out that long. So this has been tough. It's frustrating watching games every night when you want to be out there playing, but I'm trying to see the bright side of things and stay positive and try to get back in the lineup here.
"I learned (at UND) to stay positive and focus on the process. It can get frustrating and you can get down on yourself sometimes because you think you should be getting healthy, but obviously, there's a plan. That's one thing I tried to learn. Obviously, I had a great staff at UND to help me rehab and it's the exact same thing here."
Having friends to rely on?
They're still there.
Jost frequently has Facetime calls with his roommates from last year, Dixon Bowen, Andrew Peski and Casey Johnson.
"I miss my family down there," said Jost, who drove to Colorado Springs to visit the team last month when they were playing Colorado College. "Just to see everyone, my teammates, the new freshman and how excited they were, to hear about how they are adjusting and how much they're loving UND, it was amazing to see.
"You create such a bond with those guys. UND is such a family atmosphere that when you leave, you leave as family. You create that brothership. It was awesome to see everyone, for sure."
And after his current rehab stint with the San Antonio Rampage in the American Hockey League—he played his first game in a month this week—Jost hopes to get back up to Colorado and spend the remainder of the season with the Avalanche.
His teammates have told him that the Avs are in Winnipeg during UND's bye week in February and that they're hoping to go up and visit if he's with the NHL club.
Last season, Jost's entire freshman class drove to St. Paul to watch him play against the Minnesota Wild.
"That was one of the coolest experiences I've had, seeing them in the stands and seeing them after the game," Jost said. "For them to make that trek from UND was pretty special."