Starting Lineup: Avalanche set to take on old friend Tyson Jost and the Minnesota Wild

Mar 26, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild center Tyson Jost (10) skates with the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) in the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

After a 2-1-0 showing during a three-game homestand, the Avalanche are on the road for two games, starting with a stop in Minnesota. Colorado takes on the Wild at 4 p.m. MT before traveling to Calgary to face the Pacific-Division leading Flames.

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1 — Jost meets the Avs

For the first time in his young NHL career, Tyson Jost will face off against the Colorado Avalanche. Selected 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Jost, 24, appeared in 321 regular-season games and had 40 appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs before the trade.

Colorado received Nico Sturm in return, who will also be taking on his former team for the first time in his career. Sturm has yet to record a point in four games since the trade. Jost has one assist.

2 — Lehkonen’s debut?

Six days after the acquisition of Artturi Lehkonen from the Montreal Canadiens, the 26-year-old has still yet to make his Avalanche debut.

Lehkonen missed the entire three-game homestand following the road trip. He arrived in Denver on Tuesday but had to sit for both Wednesday and Friday’s games while awaiting the green light from immigration. Before traveling to Minnesota on Saturday, Avs coach Jared Bednar said Lehkonen would depart with the team but it is still unclear if he’ll dress.

Lehkonen had 13 goals and 29 points in 58 games with the Canadiens before the trade.

3 — Fleury’s latest move

Goaltender Marc-Andrew Fleury was one of the bigger names to move on Monday’s deadline. The Minnesota Wild acquired the three-time Stanley Cup Champion from the Chicago Blackhawks, giving him a chance to play in the playoffs. He was successful in his Wild debut on Saturday, making 23 saves to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime.

While he likely won’t start against the Avs, Fleury will remain in the Central Division with Minnesota and could potentially meet the Avalanche in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Golden Knights used Fleury during a second-round series against the Avalanche last year.

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Aarif Deen is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.
Follow him on Twitter @runwriteAarif

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