As usual, every summer prior to the draft, the SB Nation NHL network of blogs conducts a mock draft, with each team site making a first-round pick on behalf of their club.
Last year we picked puck-moving defenceman Tomas Chabot 26th overall. He ended up being drafted 18th in the NHL's draft. In the preceding mock draft we selected the talented forward David Pastrnak 26th overall. We won't mention who EOTP picked third overall in 2012.
Due to Montreal's historic collapse this season, they ended up with the ninth-overall draft pick. Here's a list of picks made so far in the mock draft.
1. Toronto: Auston Matthews
2. Winnipeg: Patrik Laine
3. Columbus: Jesse Puljujarvi
4. Edmonton: Pierre-Luc Dubois
5. Vancouver: Olli Juolevi
6. Calgary: Matthew Tkachuk
7. Arizona: Jakob Chychrun
8. Buffalo: Alexander Nylander
Unlike a lot of young Canadian hockey players who recognize their potential and enter Junior hockey with a CHL club, Tyson Jost decided to remain in the Junior A ranks this season, leaving the door open for a collegiate career. He will play his freshman season for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks next season.
A crucial draft season began with Jost being named to Team Canada for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August of 2015, where he scored three goals in four games on the way to a gold medal. He followed that up with a victory at the World Junior A Challenge in mid-December, scoring a tournament-high nine points for Canada West, including the game-winner in the final, on his was to earning MVP honours.
Future Considerations: 13th
Central Scouting service: 16th (North American skaters)
Hockey Prospect: 10th
DraftBuzz Hockey: 7th
Bob McKenzie: 11th
The Draft Analyst: 13th
"He is an incredibly gifted center who has everything you want in a top player. He distributes the puck at a high level, can stickhandle his way out of trouble and has a Grade-A shot. He is a top-10 talent for me. He is a leader out on the ice with his ability to execute offensively and his growing commitment to the defensive side of the game."
wowed to everyone’s delight in the BCHL hitting the century mark in PTS, yet it was the U18 season finale that really ignited his stock late. Team Canada’s captain, Jost treated scouts to a 2.14PTS/GP performance showing them where they could shove their previous competition-based sole critiques.
Aside from a modest 3G in 4GP Hlinka, he has been a go-to elite forward on the big stage: 1.29A/GP during BCHL regular season, 1.27PTS/GP in BCHL playoffs, 2.25PTS/GP at WJAC, and of course the top scorer at the WJC U18. Jost doesn’t just waltz around accumulating points, he shows a very detailed approach to the center position and how he influences his linemates.
He might be one of the best to be able to make plays enduring resistance, as he can lean into his checks while making the plays he intends to. Not to say that he isn’t a proactive player, but he has incredible reaction to the split second events that occur on a given shift. It doesn’t matter how quickly the puck gets to him, nor at what speed he’s going at, he can convert for a goal or spring a pass from there.
Jost has this aura of executing so well, so detailed, and so professionally in all three zones, that it looks like he’s practicing in games. A pure hockey player who has 1C potential, Jost understands the game and has the character to power his way to the big league.
Quotable: "Certainly wouldn’t classify him as big forward, but his compete level against larger defenders was impressive in every viewing. Always impressed by his body position when protecting pucks, it’s a big part of his dynamic offensive game" – HP scout Andy Levangie
Quotable: "Not sure he’s quite as highly skilled as some thinkbut I love the way Jost plays the game. He’s smart and he just finds a way to get things done. My background work on the kid was all extremely positive. I haven’t seen him play a bad game for quite some time." - HP Scout Mark Edwards
Quotable: The kid that you just know is going to be a big timer after interviewing him is Jost." - NHL Scout (Combine week)
Quotable: "He was a great interview. He’s one of those kids you trade up to get because you know he’s going to impact your roster." - NHL Scout (Combine week)
Quotable: "A tight race because I got feedback that a lot of prospects had great interviews this year but I’d say Jost would probably edge out as the favorite overall by scouts I spoke to." - HP Scout Mark Edwards (Combine week)
Quotable: "I heard all week how impressive Jost was in interviews, I witnessed it myself when I got to the combine." Hp Scout Mark Edwards
Is he a fit with the Habs?
There's no doubt about it, the Habs need more talent among their forward prospects, and Jost definitely fits the bill. He has top-six potential, and with his choice to go the NCAA route, he should have plenty of time to develop into a quality NHL player.
Of course, the Habs also need more talent among the defensive prospects, seeing as they have a very poor prospect pool on the blue line. That could point to a player like Mikhail Sergachev being the best choice in this situation.
There's also an argument to be made for Clayton Keller. The talented forward was the other choice the writers at EOTP were strongly considering, and in the long run it came down to a vote between he and Jost.
Do you agree with our selection? Were you eyeing Brown, Keller, Sergachev, or one of the other prospects we did not mention? Let us know in the comments below.