New York made their third minor trade today, exchanging undersized forwards with the Montreal Canadiens. Heading north is Christian Thomas, who appeared in just one NHL game for the Rangers, interestingly enough, against the very team he’s joining. Meanwhile Danny Kristo, who completed his eligibility at North Dakota last season, will join the Rangers.
It’s an interesting trade in light of comments made by Gordie Clark just a few days about why the team focuses on Americans. He noted how the American U18s and U20s have done very well on the international stage, and another Minnesotan – who also played with Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Bourque on the 2010 WJC gold medal team – certainly fits that bill.
This past season he finished third in the NCAA with 24 points, and was one of ten Hobey Baker finalist, though he didn’t win.
The two players seem relatively similar in many ways, both demonstrating good offensive skills, if not always the consistency or ability to implement them. Hockey’s Future had this to say about Kristo: At times, Kristo lacks the consistency and the work ethic needed to play at the NHL level but definitely not the skills. He has quick acceleration, a powerful stride and uses his explosive speed to help make space for him offensively. The talented winger is equally fast with or without the puck and has developed the ability to shoot the puck while in full stride toward the net with a quick, accurate release.
As for Thomas, despite a solid showing in his one game with the Rangers on the fourth line, it appeared unlikely that he was going to make an impact. An inconsistent season in the AHL showed flashes, but lacked sustained performances that the team was looking for.
Kristo has one more year left on his contract at $1.3M, which is on the high side for a second round prospect.