It's a third trade in as many days for the New York Rangers. Today, the Rangers announced that they are sending 2010 2nd round selection Christian Thomas to the Montreal Canadiens in return for forward prospect Danny Kristo. Thomas, 21, just completed his first professional season, scoring 19 goals in 73 games with the Connecticut Whale and earning his first NHL game with the Rangers against, of all teams, the Canadiens. Kristo, 23, was a second round selection by the Canadiens in 2008 and just finished his senior season at the University of North Dakota, where he produced 52 points in 40 games and was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker award. Kristo also won a bronze medal with Team USA at this year's World Junior Championships and was a part of the 2010 team, along with Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Bourque, when they won the gold medal.
A very interesting trade. Christian Thomas was attending this year's prospect camp and was participating in all sorts of Blueshirts United features, including some today. It's unlikely that the Rangers would have had him attending the camp, much less doing spots for the website, if the Rangers thought he could have been moved. Thus, it's likely that this is a trade that came into fruition the last couple of days and was completed rather quickly. Here's a nice summary of Kristo from Hockey Prospectus' Corey Pronman:
Kristo was a First-Team All American in the NCAA West and a finalist for the Hobey Baker for top college player in the country. He also appeared for the USA at the World Championships. He’s a very skilled offensive forward who can show good to great skating ability and offensive skill. His playmaking looked better this season and he works hard at both ends. He’s a smaller winger who hasn’t been able to build up strength well. Kristo, who just turned 23, is arguably NHL ready or somewhat close to making the jump. He becomes one of the Rangers top prospects and could be a decent addition soon for a power play that hasn’t been the best.
Pronman goes on to call Kristo the "better prospect" and says that, in his opinion, this is a win for the Rangers.
If so, then why does Montreal make this move? Kristo has a rather interesting history. He was arrested last September for serving alcohol to minors. He, as well as a few teammates, were then suspended by the university in relation to the incident. Largely because of this incident, questions of Kristo's character have risen. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin made a passive aggressive jab at Kristo when talking about acquiring Thomas from the Rangers.
"This young 21-year old forward has shown tremendous character” - Marc Bergevin in his quote on Christian Thomas. Read between the lines.— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 2, 2013
By all accounts Thomas has been nothing but class on and off the ice, so he's not wrong in that regard. But there's clear disdain with how Kristo has handled himself not only at North Dakota but perhaps with the Habs as well.
Of course, Clark, Sather, and Gorton were obviously well aware of Kristo's history and undoubtedly did their homework. Thomas had a solid first year in the AHL and there were no indications they were souring on him. The logical inference to make is that the Rangers scouts view Kristo as the better talent and took advantage of Montreal's willingness to let him loose. Still, it's never fun to see a hard working prospect with potential like Thomas depart, and with all of our powerplay ineptitude it's unfortunate that he's never going to get a chance to show off his ability to blast pucks home from the circles. It's hard to do much but give Gordie Clark and the rest of the scouting staff the benefit of the doubt, as they've been right for more times than wrong in recent history when it comes to prospects.
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Herman....hes a very small player, you have to be very talented to make it in the NHL at that size...
Kristo's pass shows, if anything, he may have questionable judgement when making decisions... off the ice. As long as he doesn't pull some Avery-like distractions, and of course hoping he matures up, his past shouldn't be a problem.
Can we just be the US national team with Hankin goal? We could change to the United States rangers :)
For those of you who are so high on Zucc, remember he was absolutely awful and ineffective in the Boston series...
Name me another sport where somebody will get excited over a "still developing 23 year old"....Ranger fans fall in love with Hallmark cards
"Smaller winger that hasnt built up strength well"...Hes 23 and still "DEVELOPING"...LOL...Kristo has 2 shots to make it in the NHL, slim and none
Seems Kristo is closer to NHL ready. Wonder if Slats makes this move to put some heat on the RFAs to play hardball. Get them to sign for less. Wouldn't be shocked if Hags or Zuccs get moved.
I liked what I knew of Thomas and we could have used his scoring ability. Sounds like Kristo is a bit more ready, maybe, and given his history with Step and Kreider, New York might just be the place for him to put it all together.
Smaller guy I guess, but hey, sounds good. He served alcohol to some kids he went to school with? Well, dang. You'd be hard pressed to find a college student that hasn't or wouldn't.
"Step will set him right"....Sure, future 50 goal scorer and hall of famer D Stepan leading the Futures charge for the Rangers organization
Anyone else see a pattern with the Rangers' youth? It seems the majority of picks and trades are for scorers that are really really fast. It's looking like Gordie, Glen, and Gorton are thinking a lightning fast group of forwards with skill is the way to go.
Love the trade! I believe Kristo will be a very nice addition to the Rangers. I've watched a compilation of him on YouTube and he's a beast. Good move
I love this move. I loved watching this kid in juniors. and you have to respect his points per game stat. sorry to see our Stamkos go but I like the move.
Kristo leading the troops: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCbyzELbaTk
Hockeys future website home of the well respected Leslie Treff already has Kristo ranked as the 2nd best RW in our system right behind JT Miller & ahead of Fast, Kantor, Nicholls, & Spelling. They give him a 7.5 in their rating system which is the same as Miller for comparison Kreider has an 8.0 boo Nieves has a 6.5 & so does Fogarty.
They have his probabilty of NHL success as a C same as Kreider, which is kind of strange.
In any case this was a no risk move, Thomas was never going to be an NHL player & this guy has a chance to be good. if he isn't then nothing lost.
Here's a little video compilation of Mr. Kristo: http://youtu.be/QaRgaryi8nE
Kinda shocked but honestly, I couldn't see CT making the Rangers for awhile if ever, he was small and until he got the mid twenties strength I couldn't see him impacting the team.This Kristo dude played loads on the Fighting Sioux, which is always a great team so he is seasoned and developed well.I could see him next year or later this year, making the Rangers in a 3rd or fourth line role moving up to the second line possibly.He has played with Stepan in WJC. However,on the negative side there are comments about his off ice behavior.A couple of incidents, at least one of which involved alcohol.-nothing off the wall though.
@jvr Brian Gionta wasn't a full-time NHLer until 24. Patrick Sharp wasn't until 24. Ryan Clowe didn't play his first full season until 25. Brooks Laich didn't break the 10 goal barrier until he was 24. David Backes didn't break the 15 goal barrier until 24. Korpikoski didn't break the 10 goal barrier until 24. Johan Franzen didn't even play his first NHL game until he was 25. Should I keep going?
That's like telling me Chris Kreider didn't drink after he won the national championship. This is a joke of a crime, probably just sump campus security guy who wanted some publicity
seriously ... kids were drinking at college? for shame
@gravey94 Just wish they had a little more size and find somewhere a Milan Lucic. Toughest forward in the league.
@Wallace1 rather see Cally-Miller-Kristo and Kreider-Stepan-Nash
@_Jack anyone else have a really good feelin about kristo?
@MikeBlue While other teams go leaps and bounds.
@Easy_Kreider Tomorrow, Richards, Boyle, Pyatt, Asham and Powe for Seth Jones.
@KevinDeLury the move at the :45 mark....wow
I love some of those hits! something tells me Christian wouldn't be bringing that to his game any time soon. but I gotta say I do like Christian.
once the word is out, the organization has to show its character and integrity by not keeping a kid guilty of this kind of "crime" ... sounds like we may have lucked out