By Nick Patterson Herald writer
EVERETT — Tyson Jost may have been a late arriver to the Everett Silvertips’ training camp. But now that he’s here, he’s trying to make up for lost time.
Everett’s first-round pick in this year’s bantam draft is finally in town, and he’s getting a full feel for what the Silvertips are all about.
“It’s been awesome,” Jost said Tuesday following practice at Comcast Arena. “The first thing when I walked in I noticed the facility was great. It’s first class, and I’m just happy to be here.”
Jost was Everett’s biggest prize in this year’s bantam draft. The 15-year-old center from Leduc, Alberta, was the seventh-overall selection. He’s billed as a player who has the complete package — he has speed, skill and plays hard.
It’s been a busy month for Jost. Among his hockey commitments was an invitation to the All-Canadians Mentorship Camp in Mississauga, Ontario. The camp, conducted by the NHL Players Association, featured the top 42 1998-born players in Canada. Jost was one of the stars of the camp-concluding scrimmage, scoring two goals as his Team Spezza beat Team Giroux 6-5.
His commitments to other hockey camps — one to major-midget tryouts, another to a junior A camp — were the reason why Jost was unable to attend the first three days of Everett’s training camp. However, he hopped on a plane at 4 a.m. Sunday to arrive in time to participate in the Green vs. Grey Game, and he’s practicing with the team the rest of the week.
“It’s great getting to know all the boys,” Jost said about his experiences on the ice with the Tips so far. “It’s fast and it’s fun.
“I think I’m doing a pretty good keeping up,” Jost added. “They’re a lot bigger and stronger, but I’m just trying my best to keep up out there.”
Jost has not signed a WHL education contract with the Tips yet and he’s scheduled to head back home Thursday, which would mean he wouldn’t take part in any of Everett’s games this weekend at the Everett Silvertips Preseason Tournament. But although he has yet to commit to the team, he sounded enthusiastic about the possibility of playing for Everett in the future.
“I think I do, yeah,” responded Jost, who’s too young to join the Tips full-time until next season, when asked if he saw himself playing for the Tips down the line. “It’s a great facility, a great bunch of coaches and I definitely see myself here in the future.”
Everett’s possible game changer was back Tuesday.
Jujhar Khaira, the highly-regarded 19-year-old power forward, who may end up playing for the Tips this season, was back in town to practice with the team. Khaira, who left Michigan Tech University during the offseason to sign a professional contract with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, attended just one practice during training camp to introduce himself to his potential coaches and teammates, then returned home to Surrey, B.C.
Khaira will practice with the Tips through the week, but will not play in games this weekend. Next week he heads to camp with the Oilers, with whom he hopes to earn a roster spot. If Khaira doesn’t stick with Edmonton, he’ll return to play with Everett this season.
Everett’s practice Tuesday was the team’s first since training camp concluded Sunday, and there was quite the crowd on the ice. At times, there were as many as 36 players on the ice simultaneously.
The Tips had four veterans sit out Sunday’s Green vs. Grey game because of injuries: forwards Manraj Hayer, Ty Mappin and Mitch Skapski and defenseman Micheal Zipp. Three of those were back on the ice Tuesday as Hayer, Mappin and Skapski all took part in practice.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.