Is Tyson Jost’s decision a big deal?

Since Everett’s 2013 first-round bantam pick Tyson Jost committed to playing 2014-15 with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL last Wednesday instead of the Tips, I’ve seen some sentiment expressed that it may not be that big a deal. He can play in the BCHL as a 16-year-old, then switch to the WHL the following season in preparation for his NHL draft. Everett’s had other sought-after prospects play in the BCHL as 16-year-olds when they would have made the Tips’ roster, but then show up in Everett as 17-year-olds. The recently-graduated Manraj Hayer is a good example of this.

I’ve seen similar sentiment around the Seattle Thunderbirds and Dante Fabbro. The T-birds selected Fabbro one spot after Jost in the first round in 2013. Fabbro, a defenseman who had an equally spectacular year in the BCMML as Jost, also committed to playing for Penticton in 2014-15. In those circles there’s also chatter that it may not be a big deal for the T-birds.

Well, I’m telling you it is a big deal.

The reason why it’s a big deal is because it’s Penticton. This is not your typical junior A program. Penticton is an NCAA factory, perhaps the most prominent gateway to the NCAA in all of Canada. Last season the Vees had 17 NCAA-committed players on their roster. It’s program is geared around placing players in NCAA programs, that’s the culture, and Jost and Fabbro are going to spend the next year exposed to that environment fully. If either of them have any inkling about choosing the NCAA route, those inklings will be reinforced big time by playing for the Vees.

T-birds fans would point to the fact that Ryan Gropp, the team’s first-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, played a season-plus in Penticton before jumping to the T-birds early last season. Sure, it’s happened where elite prospects have started at Penticton and moved to the WHL. In 2008-09 Ryan Johansen played for Penticton as a 16-year-old, switched to Portland as a 17-year-old, and went on to be a star. But Gropp and Johansen are the exceptions, not the rule.

If I’m a WHL general manager, Penticton may be the last place I want to see my top prospect playing. I may be more concerned about Jost in Penticton than I would be with 2013 second rounder Patrick Khodorenko opting for the U.S. NTDP the next two years.

So don’t think of Penticton as just a weigh station on the way to Everett. This is a serious problem for the Tips in their pursuit of Jost.

More in Sports

Stanwood sweeps Arlington in clash of Wesco 3A unbeatens

Devon Martinka led the Spartans to victory, registering 17 kills.

UW men’s basketball team learning new way under Hopkins

The Huskies will use a 2-3 zone as its base defense this season.

Poll: Help us plan this week’s high school football coverage

Which of the following Friday games would you like to see video… Continue reading

Thiel: Baldwin, Sherman explain how path to social justice is walked

One of the great appeals of sports is resolution. Spend a little… Continue reading

Silvertips set for 1st home game in more than 3 weeks

Everett won three of its nine games on its last road trip.

Tuesday’s prep results, links and recaps

Here are Tuesday’s prep sports results, recaps and links: BOYS TENNIS 4A… Continue reading

Tuesday’s prep stars of the night

Emma Carlton, Mount Vernon swimming Carlton, a senior Texas A&M commit, is… Continue reading

Olympic gymnast alleges sexual abuse by team doctor

McKayla Maroney said the molestation began when she was 13 and lasted throughout her career.

Everett Memorial Stadium’s baseball field converting to turf

The Mariners, Everett School District and others had to sign off on switch to an artificial surface.

Most Read