NHL staff make comments on prospects

We’re halfway through the NHL’s 30 teams in 30 days previews. One portion of their previews is listing top prospects in the teams’ systems and getting a comment on each from a member of the organization.

So far, Danny Kristo, Nick Schmaltz and Jordan Schmaltz have been previewed.

On Kristo, New York Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark says:

“We liked him in college. It wasn’t working out for him in Montreal and he turned out to be our No. 1 right wing in Hartford in his first full season. He’s got speed, skill and a knack of the puck somehow following him around. We’re hoping to improve our pool of prospects at the center position where we weren’t very deep as an organization in Hartford. We hope Danny can help us in that area.”

On Nick Schmaltz, Chicago Blackhawks director of amateur scouting Mark Kelley says:

“What stood out about Nick was his skill set, his quick hands and his ability to make passes and score. We see him as a center even though I know he played some wing and might continue to do so at North Dakota. His skill set stood out at development camp. Playing for North Dakota will be great for Nick; it worked out pretty well for Jonathan Toews.”

On Jordan Schmaltz, St. Louis Blues director of player personnel Tim Taylor says:

“Last year he took a step forward and his personality changed a little bit on the ice. He was more aggressive, he controlled the game a little more. With his defensive partner (Dillon) Simpson turning pro, now Jordan is going to be the man. It’s going to be a good year for him. He’s pretty excited about it. His brother is coming in to play with him. We had him at development camp and he was outstanding. I thought he really controlled the play. We had 3-on-3 games, and every time he was on the ice he created something.”

Kristo, Ness accept qualifying offers

Former UND All-American Danny Kristo and former Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner Aaron Ness both accepted qualifying offers from their NHL teams, agent Neil Sheehy posted on Twitter on Friday.

That means Kristo will remain with the New York Rangers and Ness, a former Gopher, will remain with the New York Islanders.

Exact terms of their deals have not yet been posted.

Kristo traded to Rangers

Danny Kristo is going from one Original Six team to another.

The former UND standout and Hobey Baker Award finalist was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the New York Rangers on Tuesday in exchange for forward Christian Thomas.

Kristo will be going to a Ranger team that needs scoring, and he may be able to help in that department after leading all WCHA players with 26 goals last season.

If he makes the big club, Kristo will play alongside fellow Minnesotans Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan. McDonagh is a year older than Kristo; Stepan is the same age.

U.S. reaches semifinals

T.J. Oshie scored a goal and Team USA surprisingly routed Russia 8-3 in a quarterfinal game at the World Championships.

The Americans, who also have Danny Kristo on the team, advance to a semifinal matchup against undefeated Switzerland at noon Saturday. The other semifinal is Finland vs. Sweden.

This is rare territory for the U.S. in this tournament. The Americans haven’t won a medal at the World Championship since 2004 (bronze) and they haven’t played in the championship since the 1960 Winter Olympics doubled as the IIHF World Championship.

Oshie has played in two games this tournament, registering one goal. Kristo has a goal and two assists in eight games for Team USA.

Below is a picture of Kristo matching up against NHL MVP finalist Alexander Ovechkin.

Kristo named to World Championship team

UND forward Danny Kristo has been selected to play for Team USA at the World Championships.

The tournament will take place May 3-19 in Sweden and Finland.

It’s a great opportunity for someone who just finished his college career. I can only think of two other UND players to be selected to play in the World Championships at the conclusion of a college season — Jonathan Toews for Canada and Drew Stafford for Team USA.

Kristo has played in nine games for the Hamilton Bulldogs, the top minor league affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, since the season ended. He has registered three assists.

Kristo caught the eye of a bunch of NHL general managers, who are helping to pick the team. Those GMs include Stan Bowman (Chicago), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh), and Dale Tallon (Florida), along with Anaheim Ducks scout Brian Burke and Pittsburgh Penguins scout Don Waddell. Burke and Waddell are former NHL GMs, too.

Kristo, Knight named All-Americans

Danny Kristo is a first-team All-American and Corban Knight is a second-team All-American.

The UND senior forwards earned the honor Friday. They are the ninth and 10th All-Americans under head coach Dave Hakstol.

2012-2013 AHCA/CCM Hockey Men’s Division I All-American Teams

East First Team
Goaltender: Eric Hartzell, Sr., Quinnipiac University (White Bear Lake, MN)
Defenseman: Nick Bailen, Sr., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute# (Fredonia, NY)
Defenseman: Chad Ruhwedel, Jr., UMass Lowell (San Diego, CA)
Defenseman: Trevor van Riemsdyk, So., University of New Hampshire (Middletown, NJ)
Forward: Kyle Flanagan, Sr., St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY)
Forward: Johnny Gaudreau, So., Boston College (Carneys Point, NJ)
Forward: Steven Whitney, Sr., Boston College (Reading, MA)

West First Team
Goaltender: Brady Hjelle, Sr., Ohio State University (International Falls, MN)
Defenseman: Nick Jensen, Jr., St. Cloud State University (Rogers, MN)
Defenseman: Jacob Trouba, Fr., University of Michigan (Rochester, MI)
Forward: Austin Czarnik, So., Miami University (Washington, MI)
Forward: Danny Kristo, Sr., University of North Dakota (Eden Prairie, MN)
Forward: Drew LeBlanc, Sr., St. Cloud State University (Hermantown, MN)

East Second Team
Goaltender: Jon Gillies, Fr., Providence College (South Portland, ME)
Defenseman: Shayne Gostisbehere, So., Union College (Margate, FL)
Defenseman: George Hughes, Sr., St. Lawrence University (Westwood, MA)
Forward: Greg Carey, Jr., St. Lawrence University (Hamilton, ON)
Forward: Mike Collins, Jr., Merrimack College (Boston, MA)
Forward: Andrew Miller, Sr., Yale University (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

West Second Team
Goaltender: Juho Olkinuora, So., University of Denver (Helsinki, Finland)
Defenseman: Dan DeKeyser, Jr., Western Michigan University* (Clay Township, MI)
Defenseman: Nate Schmidt, Jr., University of Minnesota (St. Cloud, MN)
Forward: Corban Knight, Sr., University of North Dakota (High River, AB)
Forward: Anders Lee, Jr., University of Notre Dame (Edina, MN)
Forward: Ryan Walters, Jr., University of Nebraska Omaha (Rosemount, MN)

* Second Team in 2011-12; # Second Team in 2010-11

Kristo signs with Montreal

UND senior forward Danny Kristo has signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

Kristo will start with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL.

Kristo opted to return to UND for his senior season rather than sign with the Canadiens last summer. He ended up scoring 26 goals and tallying 52 points, while being named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

College Hockey News named Kristo its national player of the year this week.

Kristo was a second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens.

Kristo, Knight not in Hobey Hat Trick

The Hobey Hat Trick was announced today — the top three finalists for the national player of the year — and neither UND senior made the final cut.

Forwards Danny Kristo and Corban Knight were both named top 10 finalists for the award, which will be handed out on April 12 in Pittsburgh.

The three finalists are St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc, Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell and Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau.

The final voting was done on Monday and Tuesday. The winner will likely be either LeBlanc or Hartzell, who both have their team in the Frozen Four.

LeBlanc is a fifth-year senior who has 13 goals and 50 points in 41 games. Hartzell is a senior who has kept Quinnipiac at the top of the rankings all year. He has a 29-6-5 record, a .933 save percentage and a 1.55 goals-against average.

Kristo named CHN Player of the Year

College Hockey News has named Danny Kristo the national player of the year.

Kristo tallied 26 goals and 52 points for UND as a senior. Both totals rank second nationally.

Read more about his honor here.

Kristo also is a Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist. The top three will be announced Wednesday or Thursday.

College Hockey News also named Corban Knight a second-team All-American. Knight had 16 goals and 49 points while centering UND’s top line this season.

Check out the full list of CHN All-Americans here.

Kristo, Knight both Hobey finalists

UND seniors Danny Kristo and Corban Knight are both finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

The top 10 finalists were announced this afternoon, and for the third time in program history, two UND players are among the top 10 in the same season.

Kristo and Knight both rank in the top seven nationally in scoring and both are alternate captains of the team.

The list will be narrowed to a top three on April 4 and the winner will be announced April 12 in Pittsburgh.

Notable items: There are no defensemen on the list. There’s only one CCHA player on the list. And for the first time in program history, there are two St. Lawrence players on the list.

2013 Hobey Baker Award finalists

Danny Kristo, Sr, F, North Dakota
Corban Knight, Sr, F, North Dakota
Ryan Walters, Jr, F, Nebraska Omaha
Drew LeBlanc, Sr, F, St. Cloud State
Johnny Gaudreau, So, F, Boston College
Austin Czarnik, So, F, Miami
Greg Carey, Jr, F, St. Lawrence
Kyle Flanagan, Sr, F, St. Lawrence
Eric Hartzell, Sr, G, Quinnipiac
Carsen Chubak, Jr, G, Niagara