BROSSARD - Danny Kristo
, the Canadiens’ first pick from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, is enjoying his hard-earned veteran status at this week’s development camp. While he may an extra year older and wiser this time around, the young sniper knows he still has plenty to learn.
At just 19 years old, Kristo is already taking part in his second summer camp in Montreal, pulling on a now-familiar Habs jersey and looking to hone his skills with the club’s crew of development gurus.
“I was here at the camp last year and I also took part in the rookie camp,” explained Kristo. “I’m starting to get used to the atmosphere here in Montreal.”
Along with the technical skating instructions he’s receiving this week, the Edina, MN native is also taking his first strides towards the NHL. But while he’s optimistic that he’ll get his shot at The Show soon enough, Kristo is realistic about what his immediate future has in store.
“I don’t know when exactly I’m going to be ready to make the jump to play pro. Obviously I’d like to work my way up as quickly as possible,” offered the speedy winger. “For now, I’m taking things one day at a time, working on becoming the best hockey player I can be and taking advantage of every opportunity I get.”
Opportunity is certainly knocking for Kristo in Brossard this week. Joining 39 young prospects in the week-long development camp, Kristo is enjoying his chance to play alongside some of the Canadiens’ best young talent Canada, the U.S. and Europe have to offer.
“I think I can really improve a lot technically by coming to a camp like this. I’m trying to soak in as much as possible while I’m here,” added Kristo, who finished second in Omaha Lancer team scoring to the Habs’ eventual first round pick in 2009, Louis Leblanc
this season, posting 58 points in 50 games.
Ready to make the jump to the college ranks in a few months’ time, Kristo is reuniting with his good friend Leblanc, this week.
“I’m really excited that Louis was also drafted by the Canadiens. We got really close while we were playing together in Omaha,” explained Kristo of his fellow first-rounder and former linemate. “Now we have the chance to maybe play together for Montreal one day. It’s already been great being together this week.”
Before he suits up for the Fighting Sioux this fall, Kristo has some business to take care of on the National Team front. Invited to the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp this August, Kristo will join another future UND teammate and fellow Canadiens draftee, Michael Cichy
, looking to earn a spot in next year’s World Juniors tournament in Regina. Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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