The inside track on the Kristo trade

People who know prospects like Kristo's potential.
People who know prospects like Kristo’s potential.

I’m intrigued with the Danny Kristo trade. I’m intrigued at the possibility of Glen Sather ripping off the Canadiens again and I’m intrigued at the timing of it all. A prospect – apparently pro ready – coming to a team with cup aspirations, at a time where there’s positions up for grabs. What to make of it all?

We thought we’d ask a couple of people who have great insight with prospects and the US national program for their takes on Kristo. Does he have the talent to make an immediate NHL impact? It’s always worth gauging opinion. Chris Peters of United States of Hockey and Jess Rubenstein from Prospect Park both have must read blogs and are great follows for prospect information. They both took time out to provide an insight into Kristo and the whole deal that no one really saw coming.

Chris Peters’ take:

Danny Kristo was one of the best players in college hockey last season. He’s a high-energy player with skill and speed, but he also brings tenacity to every shift. I believe he could be a productive player at the NHL level and was surprised Montreal was willing to give up on him without seeing what he could do at the NHL level.

Kristo gives the Rangers an affordable player with pro upside. I think his ceiling is top-six forward, but I can see him safely sliding into a third-line role where he’s asked to bring some scoring depth to a team. I think he could play in the NHL next season and have some moderate success, but it might not hurt to give him a little adjustment time in the AHL.

Kristo was a big part of the 2010 U.S. World Junior Championship gold medal team, and a focal point of North Dakota’s offense. He’s been in a lot of pressure situations at his young age and I think that will help lead to him being a successful NHL’er. I think this is a really nice trade for New York.

Jess’ take:

To be honest I was surprised that the Rangers (as well as the Canadians) gave up on their prospects after just one pro season. When the trade was made I called it a wash as both players for the most part were just about even in skill. I liked Thomas more for his ability to create offense not only for himself but for those on the ice as well.

Where I think people are making a mistake is by looking at this trade based only on the 2 players involved as I am more of the belief that the Rangers felt they could move Thomas for a goal scorer because they had other prospects who could play set up man. I am talking about Jesper Fast, JT Miller, Michael St. Croix, and Cristoval Nieves who are going to be more playmakers than goal scorers at the NHL level.

They needed to add guys who could put the puck in the net which is an area that the Rangers are hurting in. It is a good move by the Rangers trying to address a need in the system. I liked Kristo when he was playing at North Dakota and I think he will fit in with the Rangers quite well.

To me the Rangers made a trade based on need – as Jess alleviates to – but also because they were impatient. I feel Kristo is more likely to make an NHL impact sooner rather than later even if I believe Thomas has legitimate potential. It will be interesting to measure this deal in two season’s time when both players have significant time spent at the pro level.

A big thanks to Jess and Chris for providing some insight for Rangers fans. You can follow both on twitter, Chris here and Jess here. Jess is also part of a new hockey magazine,  Check out their sites and the magazine from the links provided. 

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  • I’m of the feeling that the Kristo will be a better player long term for the Rangers because he is bigger, plays both ways, and has a bit of an edge.

    Montreal gave up on him due to some crap in college, drinking, and giving booze to an underaged player. Who hasn’t had a few pops while in college, not everyone is an alter boy!! They may live to regret that this move was made for such non-sense.

  • I have only seen Kristo play on the 2010 US World junior team, so he was pretty young during that time, but from what I remember, he plays with a lot of aggression…something a lot of nyr players lack. He can skate, hit, and score. Thomas can just skate and score. I like the deal overall, and always love bringing the USA boys into NYC.

  • I don’t necessarily think the Rangers gave up on Thomas. I just think they saw an opportunity to land Kristo, and you have to give to get.

  • Kristo was awesome at the WJC. Familiarity w/ Stepan, Kreider, and JT Miller is a plus. I love the fact he spent an entire 4 years at UND. Much more polished of a prospect than Thomas in that sense. Does not have the physical concerns of Thomas and seems to be at worst a third line player w/ the ability to bang and chip in offensively. Thomas might only have a future in the top 6 and we’ve seen a TON of players who washed out of the league for that reason.

  • Kristo is a better all around player who has that edge to his game which we need! This a great chance for him with the injuries to Hags and Cally lets hope he can take advantage of it.

  • If a team were offered the on-ice performance and off-ice mistakes that come with Patrick Kane, every GM in the league would take Kane. I am certain Ranger management also believes Kristo’s history with Stepan and McDonagh, two emerging leaders on the team, will mitigate this risk, as these players will serve to mentor Kristo and help him learn to be a professional.

    I think the Rangers made a very good move here for the reasons cited by Jess: closer to being NHL ready, more of a goal scorer than setup player, and because Kristo fills a bigger need as other prospects are their setup playmakers. Chances are both teams will be pleased.

  • … Given the fact our emerging core–Capt Callahan, McD, Stepan, Kreider, JT Miller–are all USA-born, the hockey super-patriot in me lines us solidly behind adding another American with great promise.

    Only time will tell–as was the reference of another poster–but to add a second heist of Montreal to Slats’ body of work is also a plus. Or at least a salve to all of Sather’s ten-figure UFA disasters.

  • To be fair . . . Kristos unofficial drinking story was that he got hammered and passed out in a snowbank. He went to the hospital, had to get a toe amputated for frostbite. It was a bit more than drinking with some buds.

    I wouldnt really worry about it. Oshie, Frattin, even Captain Serious himself have all had a couple fun college nights and they’re doing just fine as pros.

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