The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens exchanged prospects Tuesday, with the Rangers sending forward Christian Thomas to the Canadiens in exchange for forward Danny Kristo.
Thomas, 21, is the son of former NHL player Steve Thomas. He was the Rangers' second-round pick (No. 40) in the 2010 NHL Draft after he scored 41 goals in 64 games for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 54 goals then 34 in his final two seasons with the Generals before joining the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford late in 2011-12. Thomas, 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, scored 19 goals and added 16 assists in 73 games with the Connecticut Whale in 2012-13 and was scoreless in his lone appearance with the Rangers, a game against the Canadiens on Feb. 23.
"Christian Thomas is a gifted goal-scorer with lots of speed," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergervin said on the team's website. "He has been very productive offensively at the junior level with 137 goals before adding 19 more as a rookie with Connecticut in the AHL last season. This young 21-year old forward has shown tremendous character."
Kristo, 23, was Montreal's second-round pick (No. 56) in the 2008 NHL Draft. The 6-foot, 190-pound player turned pro with the Canadiens' AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, this spring and had three assists in nine games after completing four seasons at the University of North Dakota. Kristo scored 68 goals and 161 points in 157 games, and led the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with a career-high 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points in 40 games in 2012-13, when he was voted to the all-WCHA First Team.
He will be reunited with forwards Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider, teammates on the 2010 United States team that won the World Junior Championship.
"When you hear that a team and a coaching staff wanted to get you, obviously that gives you a lot of confidence," Kristo told Blueshirts United. "I am going to get a huge opportunity here, so I'm going to work as hard as I can and do whatever I can to make those guys believe in me."