Canadiens: Checking In On Four Former Fringe Habs Now Playing Overseas

Dec 5, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Montreal Canadiens forward Christian Thomas. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Montreal Canadiens forward Christian Thomas. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – MARCH 30: Daniel Kristo (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – MARCH 30: Daniel Kristo (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images) /

Danny Kristo

While I’ve talked about Kristo in bits and pieces over the past few years, his gradual descent from top prospect to overseas playing card makes him one of the more bizarre What Happened? Stories regarding Canadiens prospects. A top scorer out of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers, Kristo was a second-round pick of the Habs in 2008 who’s AHL debut didn’t come until 2013.

After an impressive stint at the University of North Dakota, Kristo played just nine games with the Hamilton Bulldogs before being shipped to the New York Rangers for, once again, Christian Thomas (bizarre, isn’t it?). While he was a consistent AHL producer for most of his career, including three consecutive 20-goal seasons, Kristo never became anything beyond a fringe NHL callup, or, in today’s terms, a taxi squad regular.

After a disappointing 2016-17 season that saw him bounce between three different teams, Kristo transitioned overseas where his journeyman status only increased. Having played for seven teams over the past five seasons, Kristo’s travels have taken him to Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, totalling six different leagues.

While he’s had his moments like an impressive two-year stint in the NLA witb Rapperswil-Jona and two decent stints in the KHL and DEL, Kristo has struggled with consistency problems eventually being cut by Kunlun Red Star. After briefly playing alongside Tomas Plekanec and Jaromir Jagr (yes really) with the Kladno Knights of the Czech league, Kristo finished the 2021-22 season with Vasterviks IK of the Swedish first division.