Capitals Draft Grades: Andrew Cristall

Andrew Cristall, Washington Capitals (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Andrew Cristall, Washington Capitals (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals took Andrew Cristall with the 40th pick in the second round of the 2023 NHL Draft. It was a selection that many called a steal.

He is a talented winger that plays on the left side. He’s got creativity and elite playmaking ability and can make the accurate pass. Great hockey IQ and goal scoring ability.

Coming in at five foot 10 and 167 pounds, he had 39 goals and 56 assists for 95 points in 54 games for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.

When he spoke to the media he mentioned that among players he likes to emulate include Nikita Kucherov, Mitch Marner, and Nicklas Backstrom.

He was ranked fifth among North American left wings and 15th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He led the Rockets in goals, assists and points.

His 1.76 points per game rate ranked fourth in the WHL while his 95 points ranked tied for sixth. Cristall was named Kelowna’s team MVP and was selected to the wHL B.C. Division First All Star Team.

The Vancouver, British Columbia native won a gold medal with Canada at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, finishing the tournament with six points in five games with one goal and five assists.

In addition, Cristall served as an alternate captain at the 2023 Under 18 World Championship, where he registered six points in seven games with two goals and four assists. He helped Canada to the bronze medal.

During the 2021 22 season, Cristall set a Kelowna Rockets franchise record for goals by a 16 year old with 28 and tied the franchise record for points by a 16 year old with 69 (nice). In 129 career games with Kelowna, Cristall has recorded 169 points with a nice 69 goals and 100 assists.

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Grade A: This was a big steal. Andrew Cristall could’ve easily gotten selected in the first round. The fact he fell into the Caps lap as they always take the “best player available” seemed to work out perfectly.