It’s been a busy couple of days for the Rangers…and not because of the draft or the start of their prospect camp. Instead, the Rangers have decided to get a head start on putting next years’ team together by making a bunch of minor trades that could have major implications.
First it was RFA forward Benn Ferriero (who wouldn’t have been qualified by the Rangers and wasn’t qualified by the Wild today) and a sixth round draft pick next year for defenseman Justin Falk.
Then it was veteran forward Kris Newbury for journeyman defenseman Danny Syvret.
See a pattern? Well they changed it with Tuesday’s move as right before fans left their offices, the Rangers and Montreal Canadiens announced they had traded right wing prospects – Christian Thomas for Danny Kristo.
I’ll admit, this one was a head scratcher for me. I know Thomas is small and people question if his junior success will translate at the pro level, but I didn’t think the Rangers were ready to give up on him. From this tweet by Christian, I wonder if he asked for the deal. Either way, I’m sad to see him go as I really thought he had a future with the organization. Also going to miss this bromance.
In return, the Rangers received the 23-year old Kristo who is similar in size to Thomas. He has played the past four years at the University of North Dakota and was actually a finalist for the Hobey Baker award last year. (Knowing the Rangers recent luck with Hobey Baker winners, I’m actually glad he didn’t win.)
Three years ago, the Minnesota native suited up for Team USA at the World Juniors helping to lead them to gold. For those who don’t remember, that would be the 2010 team which included Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque. Stepan has already contacted Kristo to welcome him to the team. (Can we somehow find a way to give out another letter and just put one on Stepan’s jersey already?)
Even though he only turned pro at the end of last season, after his college season had ended, word is he may be ready to make the jump. If he is, he will have quite a battle for a roster spot as our third line is pretty packed assuming everyone returns. My guess is if they think this kid is ready, a regular from last season is on his way out.
Unfortunately we won’t know what he can do until the fall since the Rangers won’t be having him join the end of prospects camp this week. Until then, in Gordie Clark we trust (because at this point, why wouldn’t we?). But let’s for a second imagine that this ends up being a great trade for the Rangers. If so, I think this tweet sums the move up perfectly: