Place of BirthBurnaby, BC
Cristall is such a fun player to watch. He’s an extremely talented offensive player who’s a threat to both score goals and set them up. The first thing that really stands out about him is his ability and confidence in shooting the puck. He’s got a quick release and is very accurate with his wrist shot. He’s not afraid to challenge goalies from bad angles and oftentimes can find that sliver of daylight to score. Another fascinating thing about him is how good he is with the puck on his backhand. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as comfortable with the puck on his backhand as Cristall is. Firstly, his ability to elevate pucks while tight to the net is mesmerizing, and secondly, he constantly makes backhand saucer passes or long passes off the backhand look routine. Another aspect of his game I was impressed with was his poise carrying the puck and making smart decisions with it. For a smaller guy he protects the puck very well, using his edges to quickly turn his body and shelter the puck from opponents, and is able to stickhandle his way out of pressure in some small areas. He’s an intelligent player who’s able to read defensive positioning as he enters the offensive zone, which allows him to make smart decisions — delaying upon entry to find trailers, attacking his defenseman, or playing it safe and dumping it in. The only area I would like to see him improve in would be his defensive play. He tends to cheat a bit and will blow his zone early looking for offensive opportunities, and is a bit weak along the boards in his zone. However, these are things that will come with maturity so I’m not too worried about them. Cristall has started this season on a heater, if he continues this pace he’s going to force people to add his name to the top-10 discussion for this upcoming draft.