Smooth skating and dynamic offensive threat who displays composure with the puck on his stick. He is undersized but possesses high-end hockey IQ in all three zones and has potential as a top-six winger in the NHL.
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October 2023 – Cristall was loaned to the WHL after staying in training camp slightly longer than many expected. In his first WHL game he recorded one goal and two assists, and was named the fisrt star of the game. Cristall has a pretty great chance to lead the entire WHL in scoring this season. In his one preseason game Cristall recorded one assist in 12:15 of ice time against Detroit. Pat Quinns
June 2023 – A steal of a selection in round two, Cristall was selected 40th overall by the Capitals. Pat Quinn
April 2023 – Cristall embodies pure, distilled skill. Elite hands complement his high-end vision quite well, making him very noticeable when he gets the puck in the offensive zone. His weight shifts are calculated and perfectly timed, allowing him to send opponents the wrong way almost every time. His ability to delay or accelerate the release of his pass to hit his target is uncanny, and frequent pre-touch scans widen his field of vision and allow for a larger array of accessible plays. Add on top of that a deceptively hard and accurate release, and Cristall is among the best prospects in this draft when it comes to raw puck skills, which explains the fact that he is second only to Connor Bedard for points per game among draft eligibles from the WHL.
On the flip side, there are some setbacks to his game. His skating is only average at the moment due to less-than-ideal mechanics and little leg strength to compensate. This leads him to lag behind on back-checks and quick rushes. He also doesn’t offer much physically and only shows flashes of defensive capabilities. However, if his skating is rectified, the idea of his skillset and intelligence being combined with NHL-caliber speed and agility is terrifying. Cristall has a shot at being a top-five scorer out of this draft class if he is developed properly. He’s a project, but one who could pay off greatly for the right team. Hadi Kalakeche
September 2022 – Aside from Connor Bedard, no 2023 draft-eligible CHL player put up more points than Cristall. He registered 28 goals and 41 assists in 61 games during the WHL regular season and added another goal and five assists in five games at the recent Hlinka Gretzky Cup to help guide Canada to a gold medal finish.
When assessing Cristall’s offensive profile, there aren’t many boxes the 5-9 winger doesn’t check. His offensive skill set is highlighted through extremely efficient distribution skills and a willingness to shoot in a purposeful manner. Cristall is also a fluid and effortless skater with above-average speed that allows him to effectively transition the puck and distribute it to his teammates. He frequently displays good zone-to-zone awareness by supporting the play and his teammates through timely positioning and strong play recognition. Cristall’s high-level hockey IQ is most notably on display when observing his willingness to make the right play when facing pressure. As a result, the puck does not die on his stick often due to his willingness to make simple and effective plays rather than trying to be a one-man show. While not possessing a high-end rocket of a shot, Cristall does display a timely and willing shooting mentality that could lead him to be a 20+ goal scorer annually if and when he reaches professional hockey. Despite his smaller stature, he frequently displays good competitiveness along the half wall and slot when loose pucks are up for grabs. It is very unlikely that he will ever develop into a player with even average levels of physicality, but Cristall’s high-end hockey IQ in all three zones leaves him with legitimate above-average defensive upside when projecting his game at the next level. It is not uncommon for creative players such as Cristall to have a period of adjustment when ascending the pro-levels of hockey where time and space become limited due to the higher level of competition. While he will have to continue refining his decision-making process as he progresses toward the pro game, Cristall’s willingness to make safe and simple plays when facing pressure will likely help that transitional period. Chris Horvat
|2014-2015||BC Junior Canucks||Brick Invitational||6||2||4||6||6|||||Playoffs||1||0||0||0||0|
|2016-2017||Burnaby Winter Club Bruins||QC Int PW||4||1||6||7||0||||
|2017-2018||Burnaby Winter Club Bruins||QC Int PW||4||1||2||3||2||||
|2018-2019||St. George's School U15 Prep||CSSHL U15||30||25||27||52||16|||||Playoffs||3||1||2||3||2|
|2019-2020||St. George's School U15 Prep||CSSHL U15||27||43||37||80||47|||||Playoffs||2||4||3||7||2|
|St. George's School U15 Prep||John Reid Bantam||6||8||7||15||8||||
|St. George's School Elite 15s||CSSHL U16||1||1||0||1||0||||
|2020-2021||St. George's School U18 Prep||CSSHL U18||4||3||1||4||8||||
|2022-2023||Canada U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||5||1||5||6||6||||