The Washington Capitals announced on Thursday that they have signed 2023 second-round draft selection Andrew Cristall to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Cristall is the first member of the team’s 2023 draft class to sign a contract. His deal, signed just a day after development camp ended, will see him paid $810,000 in the NHL and $82,500 in the AHL.
NEWS | The Washington Capitals have signed forward Andrew Cristall to a three-year entry level contract. Cristall’s contract will carry an average annual value of $810,000 at the NHL level and $82,500 in AHL.#ALLCAPS
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 6, 2023
Cristall finished sixth overall in the WHL in scoring last season despite missing 14 games with a quad contusion. The British Columbia native is a natural, explosive playmaker, racking up an impressive 95 points (39g, 56a) in just 54 games.
Players with that sort of production normally go much earlier in drafts but Cristall fell to 40th overall due to concerns about his skating, defensive play, compete level, and his somewhat diminutive size. Cristall stands at five-foot, nine-inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.
Cristall, who is family friends with fellow Caps prospect Vincent Iorio, also grew up playing with now Chicago Blackhawks forward and likely generational talent Connor Bedard. Cristall even still plays roller hockey with Bedard in the North Shore Inline Hockey League.
“It’s a really fun team to be a part of,” Cristall said. “We just go out there and have fun and kind of get creative out there. It’s really nice.”
Cristall, who credits some of the inline hockey for his creative, offensive flash on the ice, impressed Caps assistant general manager Ross Mahoney at this past week’s development camp. Cristall’s Gray Team won the camp’s 3-on-3 tournament on Wednesday.
“You could see his hands and you could see his sense,” Mahoney said. “His team won the competition there. The hands and sense were on display there too. He did very well.”
Cristall is expected to return to the WHL next season and star once again for the Kelowna Rockets. However, he does have bonuses in the first year of his deal that he can reach if he plays NHL games.
The #ALLCAPS signed '23 2nd Round Pick F Andrew Cristall to 3 year Entry Level
Year 1 775K NHL, 95K Signing Bonus, 80K GP Bonus, 82.5K Minors
Year 2 800/95/55/82.5
Year 3 855K/95/0/82.5
Cap Hit 905K, AAV 950K
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 6, 2023
Here’s the full press release from the Capitals:
Capitals Sign Andrew Cristall
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Andrew Cristall to a three-year entry-level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Cristall’s contract will carry an average annual value of $810,000 at the NHL level and $82,500 in AHL.
The Capitals selected Cristall, 18, in the second round (40th overall) of the 2023 NHL Draft. Cristall was ranked fifth among North American left wings and 15th among all North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
The 5’10”, 175-pound forward spent the 2022-23 season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL), leading the team in goals (39), assists (56) and points (95). Cristall’s 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.
During the 2021-22 season, Cristall set a Kelowna Rockets franchise record for goals by a 16-year-old (28) and tied the franchise record for points by a 16-year-old (69). In 129 career WHL games with Kelowna, Cristall has recorded 169 points (69g, 100a).
The Vancouver, British Columbia native won a gold medal with Canada at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, finishing the tournament with six points (1g, 5a) in five games. In addition, Cristall served as an alternate captain at the 2023 Under-18 World Championship, where he registered six points (2g, 4a) in seven games and helped Canada to the bronze medal.
Headline photo: @_andrewcristall_/Instagram
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