Is Danny Kristo Ready to Make the NHL Jump?

 

hockeysfuture.com

Danny Kristo (hockeysfuture.com)

Training camp for the New York Rangers will be awfully competitive come September.  The Rangers may have one or even two spots open to be filled by a hungry prospect.  One can safely assume that there is an opening on the 3rd line that is up for grabs due to the recent departure of Benoit Pouliot.  FullTilt takes a look at one of the prospects that may in fact, be ready for the next level.

Danny Kristo, (who recently accepted his qualifying offer from the Rangers) was acquired just over a year ago on July 2nd from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Christian Thomas. Kristo was Montreal’s 2nd pick in the 2008 draft out of North Dakota.

When Kristo was drafted, he was dubbed as a steal in the 2nd round, but Kristo played just 9 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs, registering only 3 points before Montreal saw him as expendable, and sent him to the Rangers on July 2nd, 2013.  Kristo reunited with the two other Rangers (Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan) that had captured the Gold at the World Junior Championships in 2010.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6fM4ZRCFbQ”][su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltD9PgPBa7o”]Game Seven Highlights – [/su_youtube]

The 2013-2014 season was a coming out party for the Edina, Minnesota native.  Kristo played 65 games for the Hartford Wolfpack, registering 25 goals (7 on the power play) and 18 assists for 43 points to go with only 18 penalty minutes. Kristo was 3rd on the team in scoring behind Danny Syvret(47) and Oscar Lindberg(44).

Lindberg played 10 more games than Kristo, and Syvret played 11 more.  If Kristo played the same amount of games, he may have very well led the “Pack” in scoring.  The Rangers need to replace the 36 points that Pouliot provided on the 3rd line because as we know, depth wins games. Danny Kristo, with a stellar 2013-14 season in the books, may be poised to take a spot on the Rangers roster this upcoming season.

This past year showed what the kid was capable of doing. If he stays focused, lets his talent talk, he will without a doubt make the team.  Again, I reiterate, “IF.”  Kristo has the skills to be a successful NHL player, but needs to maintain the work ethic.  After this season, Kristo understands the professional level, and will work hard enough to make the New York Rangers for the 2014-15 campaign.

For more on Danny Kristo read:

Future Ranger: Danny Kristo