Danny Kristo
Image: NHL

Danny Kristo

Hometown:

Eden Prairie Minnesota

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1990-06-18

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2008

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2008

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

Signed as free agent, 2015

Weight:

188 lbs.

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History

2005-06: Playing for Eden Prairie High School, Danny Kristo recorded 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in just 27 games.

2006-07: Kristo was one of the top players for the US U-17 team, finishing amongst the team leaders in points (28), goals (12), and assists (16) in 59 games played.

2007-08: The US National U18 Team (NAHL) winger scored eight goals and 18 points through 39 games. Kristo also excelled in international play with the U-18 team.  He competed with the US National U-18 squad at the WJC-18, netting three goals and six points in seven games; USA took home the Bronze Medal. Kristo also excelled in international play with the U-18 team.  He helped team USA walk away with a first place finish at the 2008 U-18 Five Nations tournament by compiling four points on four games (two goals, two assists). Kristo was chosen in the second round, 56th overall, of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.

2008-09: The Omaha Lancers (USHL) winger netted 22 goals in his rookie season, finishing with 58 points in 50 games. He skated again with the US National Team, netting one goal in six games at the WJC.

2009-10: The highly anticipated rookie season came with success for Kristo, yielding a 15 goal, 36 point season in 41 games with North Dakota. He would add a World Junior Gold Medal, NCAA Championship and NCAA (WCHA) Rookie of the Year award to the mantle, as well.

2010-11: Kristo had an eventful sophomore season with WCHA regular season and playoff champion North Dakota. After a steady first part of the season he missed ten games due to a severe case of frostbite in his foot that threatened his career. Kristo returned from his injury during the post-season and had points in all but one game – the Fighting Sioux’s 2-0 loss to Michigan in the Frozen Four semifinals. He finished the season with 8 goals and 20 assists and was +6 in 34 games for the Fighting Sioux.

2011-12: After a difficult and under-achieving sophomore year, Kristo enjoyed the best season of his collegiate career in 2011-12. The speedy winger set career highs, scoring 19 goals (three GWG) along with 26 assists (team-leading) and a solid plus 16 rating in 37 NCAA games. The offensively talented winger was forced to play in unfamiliar situations all season long due to the numerous injuries the Fighting Sioux suffered this year.

2012-13: Kristo signed a two-year entry-level contract with Montreal in April and made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs following his senior season. He capped the year playing for the USA in the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Kristo had 3 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in nine AHL games for the Bulldogs. Kristo capped his college career by finishing second in the WCHA and leading North Dakota in scoring; finishing with 26 goals and 26 assists in 40 games with a +17 plus/minus and 24 penalty minutes. North Dakota was third in the WCHA and received an at-large NCAA bid after an overtime loss to Colorado College in the WCHA semifinals. The Fighting Sioux defeated Niagara in the NCAA West Regional semifinals before falling to national champion Yale, 4-1. In ten games with the bronze medal-winning USA squad Kristo scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes. He was acquired by the Rangers in exchange for Christian Thomas in a trade with the Canadiens in July 2013.

2013-14: Kristo played for New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford in his first pro season. He led the Wolfpack with 25 goals and had 18 assists, finishing with an even plus/minus and 18 penalty minutes. Hartford missed the AHL playoffs, finishing third in the Northeast Division. 

2014-15: Kristo was the third-leading scorer for the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack in his second pro season. He scored 22 goals with 24 assists and was +11 with 35 penalty minutes in 72 regular season games. The Wolfpack finished first in the Northeast Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals. Kristo scored 3 goals with 3 assists and was -7 with 2 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games. The St. Louis Blues signed Kristo to  a one-year contract as an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.

2015-16: Kristo led the AHL’s Chicago Wolves with 25 goals and was the team’s second-leading scorer behind minor league veteran Pat Cannone in his third pro season. He had 23 assists and was -2 with 29 penalty minutes in 71 games. The Wolves missed the AHL playoffs, finishing sixth in the Central Division.

Talent Analysis

At times, Kristo lacks the consistency and the work ethic needed to play at the NHL level but definitely not the skills. He has quick acceleration, a powerful stride and uses his explosive speed to help make space for him offensively. The talented winger is equally fast with or without the puck and has developed the ability to shoot the puck while in full stride toward the net with a quick, accurate release.

Future

Kristo was the top goal scorer for St. Louis AHL affiliate Chicago in 2015-16 in his first season in the Blues' organization. Signed to a one-year contract by St. Louis, he would become an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a qualifying offer. A consistent scorer in each of his three AHL seasons, Kristo has yet to make his NHL debut. He could be an interesting free agent option for a team in need of scoring but is equally likely to play out his career at the minor pro level or head to Europe.

2008 prospects: Danny Kristo

by Leslie Treff
on

From the time Danny Kristo was a young boy, his hero was the now St. Louis Blues prospect, TJ Oshie. Both Oshie and Kristo played high school hockey in Minnesota, and Kristo plans to follow in Oshie’s footsteps by playing for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux starting in the fall of 2009.  However, this week, Kristo’s mind is pre-occupied with events north of the border — the US NTDP winger will be listening for an NHL team to call his name in Ottawa at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Expected to be a second or third-round selection, the scouting report on Kristo is that he is a very speedy right-handed shot who has a very high hockey IQ, and an excellent work ethic. Although he needs to get stronger and develop more of a two-way game, Kristo is a hot prospect and likely to be the first US NTDP player drafted by an NHL team this year.

Kristo has for years stood out among his age group. The former Eden Prairie High School winger was a top scorer among Minnesota high school freshmen during the 2005-06 season (39 points in 27 games). Kristo first came to the attention of scouts at the 2006 Select 15s because of his skating and creativity with the puck. It was after that event that the young forward received an invitation to try out for the US NTDP.
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