, courtesy, Grand Forks Herald.
The first commitment of the Brad Berry era is a big one.
British Columbia Hockey League star forward Tyson Jost, a potential first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, gave a verbal commitment Monday afternoon to play for North Dakota beginning in 2016. He chose UND over Denver and others.
The 5-foot-11, 192-pound forward has elite offensive skills and showed them in scoring 45 points in 46 games for the Penticton Vees last season, despite being one of the youngest players in the BCHL. Jost helped the Vees to the league playoff title and a berth in the RBC Cup.
“He takes a lot of pride, not just in scoring points,” Penticton coach Fred Harbinson said. “He’s hard on himself away from the puck and in our own end. He was able, as a 16-year-old, to play in a lot of different situations that are usually for guys four years older than him. His attitude sets him apart. A lot of guys have the talent and say they want to be players, but his attitude is what drives him and makes him into the elite player that he is.
“He’s going to be a great college player and someone who will more than likely be playing long after college is done.”
Jost was named one of the top players to watch for the 2016 NHL Draft by the league’s Central Scouting Bureau and he just returned home from winning a gold medal in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament with Team Canada. Jost had a hat trick in the event, which featured the top 1998-born players.
Although he was a first-round draft pick of the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League, Jost has kept himself college eligible by not joining the major junior team. A month ago, he committed to return to Penticton, where the assistant coach is former Grand Forks Central and UND defenseman Nick Fuher.
“We expect a lot out of him,” Harbinson said. “There’s a reason why we named him captain. He’s beyond his years. That’s very evident, the way he conducts himself on a day-to-day basis and his maturity level on and off the ice. We’re hoping he’s going to come in and lead us offensively and lead us in a lot of different areas this year.”
UND has four commits on the Penticton team now. The others are defenseman Gabe Bast and East Grand Forks products Dixon Bowen and Colton Poolman. UND is after another member of that team in highly touted 1998-born defenseman Dante Fabbro.