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Top of his class

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL - It may only be the middle of August but for 29 young Americans, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about the holiday season. Already counting down to Boxing Day, the most excited player of them all could be Habs prospect Danny Kristo.

Team USA held its annual summer evaluation camp last week, staged to scout out the nation’s talent leading up to the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon. Kristo made his second-straight appearance at the camp, having donned the stars and stripes at the World Juniors in Ottawa last year. Gauging by his performance this time around, the speedy winger probably won’t be spending his Christmas holidays at home this year, either.   

On tap at last week’s camp: training sessions, intrasquad match-ups and exhibition games against a team of Russian prospects.

After lighting the lamp four times in three tune-up games between the blues and the whites, Kristo kicked it into an even higher gear when his team faced off against the Russians for the four-game series.

The Americans put on a goal scoring clinic in the first outing, easily defeating the visitors 8-1. The Canadiens’ top pick from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft added a pair of markers in the game, notching his fifth and sixth of the camp.  It was also his second multi-goal effort, having already notched a hat trick in an intrasquad tilt on August 9.

In Game 2 against the Russians, Kristo again found the back of the net, this time with the man advantage. With seven goals to show for his time in Lake Placid, the 6-foot, 175-pound sniper finished the week as the camp’s leading scorer and second-leading point-getter – just trailing Canucks prospect Jordan Schroeder for the top spot. 

With his impressive camp now over and his freshman season at the University of North Dakota about to begin, like students everywhere, Kristo has already started the countdown to the holidays. 

Manny Almela is a writer for

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