Sabres 2022-23 Season Report Card: Tyson Jost

It is not often that a waiver pickup ends up being a resounding success for a team, but for Tyson Jost and the Buffalo Sabres, this was the case. On Nov. 19, the Sabres claimed Jost from the Minnesota Wild after he had a cold start there, and he was injected into the lineup immediately. For a Buffalo team that was struggling with consistency and defensive responsibility, Jost was the perfect player for them as they replaced Anders Bjork.

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He has never been known for his offensive prowess in the NHL, but he has always been a capable two-way forward. Head coach Don Granato, being the developmental coach that he is, put Jost in a position to succeed. He used him primarily in a bottom-six role but still gave him the opportunity to show off the offensive skills that he possesses. Night in and night out, Jost was one of the hardest-working and most consistent forwards at Granato’s disposal.

Jost Fit In Perfectly With The Sabres

Jost was struggling to find his place on a Wild team that did not seem to have much use for him, but when he arrived in Buffalo, he was given some tools to be creative offensively while still being solid defensively. He played most of his minutes alongside Casey Mittelstadt and Victor Olofsson functioning as the third line. But Jost also had a good amount of success between Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons on the fourth line. The way he played made him a Swiss army knife for Granato, as he could be inserted anywhere and be successful. With Mittelstadt breaking out and moving up the depth chart, Jost will only have more opportunities to solidify himself in his role.

Tyson Jost Buffalo Sabres
Tyson Jost, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Jost had everything that the Sabres were looking for in a player, from speed and hard work, down to his scoring ability and creativity. There were a number of games where he showed off why he was drafted 10th overall in 2016 and why the Wild were foolish to give up on him so quickly. While Jost may not be lighting up the scoreboard every night, he has some very underrated finishing ability that makes him a scoring threat, no matter where he is. Something he could improve on for the coming season would be his face-off stats, as he was a very subpar 38 percent on his draws. If he continues to play center, he will want to drastically improve those numbers.

Jost’s Final Grades

Getting a player like Jost on their roster for free was an absolute steal by general manager Kevyn Adams. A 25-year-old player with some significant upside still there is someone that will thrive on this Sabres team. Jost was a fantastic penalty-killing asset for Buffalo, and he was a spark plug for them on nights when the typical offensive talents were coming up flat. He put the puck in the net a total of seven times and finished the year with 25 points in 71 games. Those 25 points make this year the second-best point total he has had since the 2018-19 season with the Avalanche, and he has plenty more he can contribute. These would be his grades for the season:

  • Scoring – B-
  • Defense – B
  • Playmaking – B
  • Leadership – B+
  • Teamwork – A+
Sabres’ forward Tyson Jost expresses that he wants to stay in Buffalo

Jost never complained or demanded that he deserved more. He played his role well and never had a lazy shift. His playmaking skills were fantastic, considering the ice time and situations he played in, and he was always hounding the puck no matter what. His overall grade for this season would be a B+, as he played very well, but there still is more to get out of him. Next season should be much better offensively as he continues to grow with this young team.

Jost’s Fantasy Value

As a bottom-six player, he does not carry much value as a fantasy asset. He has never been a major offensive threat, but being a part of the high-flying Buffalo offense could make him a decent depth option in leagues with 15 or more teams. He does have some physicality to him, so he will get some hits to cover the peripheral categories and some blocked shots as a penalty killer. He was rostered in less than one percent of leagues in 2022-23, so he did not stand out enough to make it onto many starting rosters. The best bet for next year is waiting for him to go on a hot streak and picking him up until he cools off.

Jost’s Future in Buffalo

When Jost’s contract expires at the end of this year, he will be a restricted free agent (RFA). With Buffalo retaining his rights, they will have the opportunity to keep him or move him for a new asset if they decide that his role can be filled by someone else. What they should do is hold onto him for the next few years, as he will not be expensive to keep around. He currently carries a $2 million cap hit, and if he re-signs, he would likely be at a similar dollar amount. He is worth around $3 million based on his stats and player role, and the Sabres could really use a player like him in the playoffs.

Related – Sabres 2022-23 Report Card: Kyle Okposo

There is a bit of a logjam at the forward position in Buffalo, but Jost checks all the right boxes for someone they would need. He plays hard, he fits the coach’s scheme, and he is still young, so maintaining him as part of the new core would keep the continuity while also giving a veteran presence to the very young players like Jiri Kulich and Matt Savoie, who will be fighting for roster spots in the fall. Jost would be the perfect complement to either of those players, and he has all the right skills to keep up with them along the way. Should the Sabres decide not to keep Okposo or Girgensons (which feels unlikely at this point), Jost’s value would increase dramatically as he would get an increased role. All signs point to him staying, and it would be best if he did.

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