The Buffalo Sabres announced they claimed forward Tyson Jost off waivers on Saturday (Nov. 19). Waiver claims are somewhat of a rarity for them, with their last one coming in October of 2021. With the current rash of injuries at the forward position, and the overall lull in their offense, the claim was a low-risk and potentially high-reward move for them. Jost has not been able to find his footing in the NHL to this point, but he is a former first-round selection and was once a highly touted prospect for the Colorado Avalanche. Coming to Buffalo could provide him with a bigger opportunity and a chance to revive his pro career. For the Sabres, this move could help spark their offense but will ultimately bolster their forward depth more, while risking very little to do so.
Tyson Jost Has Struggled Thus Far in the NHL
Jost was selected 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Avalanche. He was one of the more coveted prospects in the Avalanche organization and was on track to develop alongside players like Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. He failed to be a consistent contributor for them in his six seasons with the team and was dealt to the Minnesota Wild prior to the 2022 Trade Deadline. In his limited stint with them, he struggled to find a role and oftentimes could not crack their lineup.
While draft position is not necessarily an indicator of how skilled a player is, being a former top-10 selection provides at least some intrigue. He displayed his skill while playing college hockey at North Dakota, and played internationally for Canada at the 2017 World Junior Championship and 2019 World Championship. After six seasons in Colorado, a change of scenery was probably necessary, and while Minnesota did not work out, he will be provided with another opportunity to turn his career around and establish himself in Buffalo.
Buffalo Facing Injuries to Forward Group
Though Jack Quinn will return to the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kyle Okposo was placed on injured reserve this week and Zemgus Girgensons remains out, so the Sabres have a need at forward. They recalled Riley Sheahan and Anders Bjork from Rochester, but Jost is an upgrade over those players, and he can be used on the team’s penalty kill if needed. With the recent losing streak, the team also needs a jolt to get back on track, and he might be able to provide that. Injecting some new life into the lineup with a player who needs to prove himself could be the shot in the arm they need right now. They are also adding a player who is in a similar age group to the core of their team, which should help him assimilate into the lineup a little easier.
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Even if Jost fails to live up to his potential, it gives the Sabres another layer of depth they can rely on in a pinch. They’ve had bad luck this season with injuries and there are a lot of games still to be played. Having an extra player who is capable of stepping into the lineup when called upon is a great way to be prepared. He is also a free agent at season’s end, so there was no contractual risk in claiming him and they can move on if he doesn’t work out. Ultimately this claim was a solid move for them to make. There is essentially no risk involved in giving him a shot to prove himself, and if it doesn’t work out they can move on at the end of the year.
This waiver claim is ultimately one that benefits both the team and the player. For Jost, this is an opportunity to find stable footing with an organization that is still looking to add pieces. If he can revive his career in Buffalo, there will be an opportunity for him to return next season and become a larger part of what they are building. For the team, they acquire a player who might still have something left in the tank, along with an added layer of protection should they face more injuries to their forward group. Allowing him to get into games for the remainder of the season will also be a great way for him to prove he can be a piece for them moving forward.
Zach Rohde is a Buffalo Sabres Contributor for THW. Growing up in the Buffalo area during the late 2000s, the Sabres success fueled his passion for hockey. He has written about the Sabres for another site in Buffalo previously, and covered Buffalo Sports for a brief time as a freelance sports assistant for Spectrum News Buffalo before moving to a full time position in general news. Twitter: @ZachRohde