The Colorado Avalanche have traded forward Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Nico Sturm, the team announced Tuesday. The move comes just one day after the Avalanche acquired defender Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks.
In 59 games this season, the 24-year-old Jost has scored six goals and 14 points. He also has one year remaining on his contract worth $2 million beyond this season. Sturm, on the other hand, has scored nine goals and 17 points in 53 games and is in the final year of a two-year, $1.45 million contract with a $725,000 annual average value.
For the Avalanche, this move saves them some cap space first and foremost. For a team looking to continue buying at the Trade Deadline, that makes a lot of sense. It goes beyond that, though. On paper, Sturm has actually had a very solid season on both sides of the puck; the totals may be similar over the past few seasons, but the all-around play certainly leans in favor of Sturm who also happens to be cheaper.
Though Jost does provide the Wild with penalty-killing ability to replace Sturm – he’s averaged a tick under two minutes of penalty-killing time per game, he has also won just under 40% of his faceoffs this season while Sturm has won over 51% of his. That’s a fairly significant drop-off for the Wild, though they do get an extra year out of Jost at a very reasonable cap hit to see if a change of scenery will help him to elevate his role in a new system.
Jost and Sturm Should Get More Opportunity With New Team
It’s entirely possible that Jost could get a look on the WIld’s third line as a result of this deal which would be a step-up from the fourth line minutes he was getting in Colorado. Jost has always had potential as the 10th overall selection in 2016 and will get a chance to be more impactful in Minnesota than he was in Colorado.
With Sturm being a healthy scratch in recent games for the Wild, something likely had to give. The team also had to be proactive as far as figuring out his contract was concerned. Rather than negotiating a new deal and hoping things would work out in favor of the team, the Wild instead opted to go younger with more certainty in the immediate future beyond this season.
Sturm should immediately factor into the bottom-six of the Avalanche, likely slotting into the team’s fourth line.
Trades within divisions are always interesting, especially when both teams are playoff contenders. The Avalanche, of course, are the NHL’s top team with 89 points at the time of this deal. The Wild sit in third place in the Central Division with 72 points and also have high hopes for the 2021-22 season. These two teams will next face off against each other on March 27 and it’s entirely possible that both players could be in the lineup against their former squads.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.