This is the second of several scouting pieces looking at who the Chicago Blackhawks could take with the 19th overall pick. Today Chicago Hockey Now looks at Kelowna Rockets forward Andrew Cristall.
Need to Know Info
Position: Forward (LW)
The Past Season: Kelowna Rockets
Next Season: Kelowna Rockets
Scoreline (GP: G-A-P) 54: 39-56-95
What the Blackhawks Would be Getting in 40 Words or Less
An offensive dynamo who may be one of the most underrated players in the draft.
How could Andrew Cristall fit into Kyle Davidson’s Plan?
The kid oozes offense, and might be one of the smartest players in the draft. If you want higher regard, perhaps heed generational talent and soon-to-be Chicago Blackhawk Connor Bedard’s comment about him. Bedard’s self described best friend sports what he believes to be “the best IQ” he’s ever seen.
For Davidson’s Blackhawks which so far he’s drafted based on speed, hockey IQ, and offensive firepower, Cristall seems the perfect fit not only for the organization, but one day on a line with his best friend.
Where do the Experts Rank Him?
- Dobber Prospects – #8
- Smaht Scouting – #12
- Central Scouting (North America) – #15
- Elite Prospects – #19
- McKeen’s – #25
- Bob McKenzie/Craig Button – #35 (midseason)
In the Hockey Now mock draft, the Blackhawks were slated to take Cristall at nineteen. I argued at the time that he may very well not be there because the buzz surrounding him has only gotten louder in the past month. On average of the six, he’s literally at 19. Regardless, I don’t see him there for the Blackhawks.
Cristall will likely continue to climb in anticipation as the draft draws nearer. Watching him play reminds a lot of a Mat Barzal. His release is lightning fast, and he always seems to be in the right spot at the right time. Chalk up those 95 points and 39 goals to the effect.
Drawbacks highlighted by all six outlets are skating. He doesn’t have that second gear and it’s something that can be detrimental at the next level. But this also been said about many other prospects, namely Mason McTavish for basis of comparison, and clearly didn’t scare people off.
What sets Cristall apart and what will likely cause him to go a bit further up the draft board is how he drives the offense. His vision is second to none and he’s had several highlight reel plays absolutely fooling opposing defenders. Combine that with soft hands and his quick shot–you’ve got a very promising prospect.
He very well may get to the Blackhawks at #19. But it wouldn’t be shocking if he ends up going much higher. Regardless, Cristall promises to be a talent who sees the ice well and makes opposing defenses pay.
Wouldn’t it be something if he joins his best friend in Chicago.
Previous Prospects Profiled: Jayden Perron