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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sioux nab top prospect

UND received a commitment from one of the top 2009 prospects Tuesday when Eden Prairie's Danny Kristo verballed [read story here].

Many seemed to think that Kristo would pick Minnesota, but after talking with Danny and his father, Mark, I'm not sure why that was the prevailing wisdom.

Mark, a standout for Bemidji State during the 70s, has several ties to UND. The most notable being that he's very good friends with Tim O'Keefe, the executive vice president of the UND Alumni Association. Also, Mark's high school coach was Dudley Otto, a former Sioux goaltender.

Apparently Danny has been a Sioux fan all his life, too, and wears UND merchandise all the time. I asked the Kristos if they could track down a photo of Danny for the paper, and they found a family picture. In it, sure enough, Danny is wearing a Sioux hat.

Because Danny goes to school in the Cities area, I'm guessing, many assumed he grew up a Gopher fan as most Minnesota kids do. But Danny's experience was different. His family moved from Minnesota to Indiana shortly after he was born, and Danny grew up there until he was 13.

When he moved back to Minnesota in seventh grade, he said he found himself idolizing the Parises and Drew Stafford.

He took his first unofficial visit to UND during the Michigan Tech series and made a return visit in late July. He visited Minnesota on Monday.

Kristo said he wants to work on becoming more physical while he's playing with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The 5-foot-11 forward might be even bigger when he gets to UND. Kristo said he grew about three inches in the past year.

With three years left until he puts on a Sioux jersey, there is lots of time for him to grow.

Assistant coach application update: No new applicants Wednesday. Still four on file. Deadline is Friday.

World Junior evaluation camp update: Michael Forney scored a goal in USA Blue's 8-5 win over Finland on Wednesday.

WCHA update: Michigan Tech named former Wisconsin defenseman Chris Tok an assistant coach Wednesday. He replaces former UND player Ian Kallay, who left to pursue a business opportunity.

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