He is 5-11, 185 and was a second round pick of Montreal in 2008 and spent the last four seasons playing for North Dakota.
Kristo, 23, had 26 goals and 26 assists in 40 games last season. He had three assists in nine games playing for Hamilton in the AHL.
He signed a two-year entry level deal this past spring and his contract expires next year when he will be an RFA. His cap hit is $1.3 million.
Kristo played 10 games for Team USA at the World Championships this past spring and had 1 goal and two assists.
In 2010 he played with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider on the World Junior team that won the Gold Medal. He had five goals and three assists in that tournament.
He was ranked the fifth best prospect on Montreal by Hockey’s Future.
The Hockey News ranked him 10th in the Future Watch issue this past February and wrote “the speedy winger has quick hands, good scoring ability, but has to improve maturity and work ethic.”
In 2012, The Hockey News ranked him 9th in their future watch issue and wrote “excellent skater with non-stop motor and scoring ability. Needs more muscle.”
Habs Eyes on the Prize writes “Kristo is one of the fastest skaters in the organization, possibly even the fastest, and gives the Canadiens even more depth at forward. The right winger can make plays at top speed, which instantly puts him at the top of the Bulldogs call up list if a skilled forward is injured.”
Leslie Treff calls this an “excellent trade” for the Rangers and that Kristo has a lot of talent and grit. She notes that he had off-ice issues many years ago but he has matured and has high end talent.
VIDEO and Rangers press release below
NEW YORK, July 2, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired forward Danny Kristo from Montreal in exchange for forward Christian Thomas.
Kristo, 23, appeared in 40 games with the University of North Dakota of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) last season, registering 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points, along with 24 penalty minutes. He established collegiate career-highs in goals, points, shorthanded goals (two), and game-winning goals (six), and tied his career-high in assists. Kristo led the WCHA in goals and tied for second in the Conference in points, while serving as an assistant captain with North Dakota. He was named to the WCHA First All-Star Team, and selected to the NCAA West First All-American Team. On January 12, the senior posted a collegiate career-high, four-point effort with two goals and two assists against Colorado College.
Kristo made his professional debut following the conclusion of the WCHA season, registering three assists in nine games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL). He tallied an assist on the game-winning goal while making his professional debut on April 5 at San Antonio, and recorded two assists in a home-and-home set against Lake Erie on April 12-13.
The 6-0, 190-pounder skated in 157 career collegiate contests over four seasons with North Dakota, registering 68 goals and 93 assists for 161 points, along with 83 penalty minutes and a plus-49 rating. Kristo was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team and selected as the WCHA Rookie of the Year following the 2009-10 season, after recording 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 41 games as a freshman.
Internationally, Kristo has represented the United States in several tournaments, including most recently at the 2013 World Cup in Ufa, Russia. He registered three points (one goal, two assists) in 10 games with Team USA. He was also a member of the 2010 gold medal-winning team at the World Junior Championships, where his teammates included Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Ryan Bourque. Kristo recorded eight points (five goals, three assists) in seven tournament contests, as he helped lead Team USA to the title.
The Edina, Minnesota native was originally selected by the Montreal Canadiens as a second round choice, 56th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Thomas, 21, registered 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists) in 73 games with the Connecticut Whale (AHL) last season. He was originally the Rangers’ second round choice, 40th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.