It’s time for another pair of fourth-liners on the Minnesota Wild to receive their final season grades. These two came to the team at nearly the same time and each made waves when they joined. Those two players were Nicolas Deslauriers and Tyson Jost. Both were looking to prove themselves after being traded to the Wild at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline and they did just that.
Deslauriers hit the ground running and immediately stated how excited he was to be playing for the Wild. Jost on the other hand, who’d been traded from the Colorado Avalanche, a team that at the time looked to be a strong Stanley Cup contender and currently still are, seemed to feel a little snubbed. Not that the Wild weren’t a great team and he wasn’t excited to play for them, but that he should’ve been considered good enough to stay with the Avalanche.
Deslauriers & Jost’s Regular Seasons
Deslauriers played 20 games in the regular season for the Wild and he started off with a bang. In his first game, he scored a goal that helped them secure a 3-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights and snatched their third straight win in a row. That was his first of three goals for the Wild and ended up being his only points of the regular season.
Prior to being traded, Deslauriers played for the Anaheim Ducks and appeared in 61 games for them, scoring five goals and five assists for 10 points. Combining his play for both the Wild and Ducks, he played in 81 games and registered 13 points. However, points weren’t his main priority – it was a great bonus – but his main focus was physicality.
Deslauriers didn’t disappoint in that area during the regular season. He had a total of 263 hits between his two teams and took sixth place overall in the entire league. The majority of those hits came with the Ducks but he did tally 53 in 20 games with the Wild. If he had gotten all of those 263 hits with the Wild, he would’ve secured the number one spot on the team as well.
Jost’s Regular Season Results
Switching to Jost, his position was mostly centered around physicality with a little more weight on points. He played in 21 games for the Wild and scored two goals and four assists for six points. Before joining the Wild, as mentioned earlier, he was a part of the mighty Avalanche. He played in 59 games and had six goals plus eight assists for 14 points during his time there.
Again like Deslauriers, Jost’s points weren’t super impressive but, being on the fourth line, any points are helpful and show the depth this team had even though it came up short in the postseason. Overall he played in 80 games, had 20 points, and had 55 hits between the Avalanche and Wild. Again, most of his numbers came with a team other than the Wild, but he started to show promise as the season wound down.
Plus Jost scored some time on the top line when Mats Zuccarello was injured, as he fit right in almost seamlessly and proved he can play almost anywhere, including the GREEF line when a member of their line was injured late in the season.
Deslauriers & Jost’s Postseason
Moving on to the postseason, everyone knows how things went. The Wild lost out in the first round to the St. Louis Blues thanks to a lack of effort and scoring from almost the entire lineup. Deslauriers was one of those players that couldn’t get on the scoreboard in terms of points. He did have two shots on goal in the five games he played, but he missed the final game of the playoffs which later was revealed as an injury.
Deslauriers’ physical game was slightly lower than expected with 13 hits in the five games he played. It was more than most players but not quite up to his level. He also had two blocked shots, a takeaway, and a giveaway. Not the best stats but he did contribute.
As for Jost, he played in all six games for the Wild but couldn’t find the scoreboard. He did, however, record nine shots on goal and 11:36 of ice time per game. Defensively he did a little better, as he had two hits, two blocked shots, one giveaway, and three takeaways. Also, not the greatest stats and it would’ve been awesome if he found a way onto the scoreboard but that’ll have to wait until next season.
Deslauriers & Jost’s Final Grades
It’s really hard to grade players when they’ve only played a percentage of the season but as far as Deslauriers, he was brought in to do a job, and other than the postseason, he fulfilled it. He didn’t have a lot of points but did have a lot of hits. As far as the postseason, he didn’t have as many hits as everyone would’ve liked but if he was battling an injury that caused him to miss the final game, that may have affected his play.
Overall, Deslauriers’ grade for his efforts with the Wild is a B+; his hits brought energy to the team as did his personality. He did struggle in the playoffs but earned some slack due to the injury. It’ll be interesting to see if they can re-sign him this offseason as he’s an unrestricted free agent, but he brought a lot of physicality and entertainment to a team that really needed it.
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Moving onto Jost, he didn’t have a lot of time to show his skills in front of Wild fans, as he played in only 21 games but did have six points. It wasn’t a lot but he proved he could score some goals. His grade is the same as his linemate, a B+. He showed a lot of promise in the little time he had, but they also needed him to step up more in the playoffs. He played all six games but could not score when they really needed him to.
Jost doesn’t deserve as much of the blame as some of his teammates, but if he could’ve stepped up, it would’ve been huge. He does have talent and thankfully, the Wild have him secured for next season because it looks like he has a lot more to show everyone what he’s capable of, including playing on almost any line combination they throw at him.