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.
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, Hock.ly. Check out their sites and the magazine from the links provided.