Rockets Cristall, Price and Szturc named to NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings
Kelowna Rockets players Andrew Cristall, Caden Price and Gabriel Szturc cracked the NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters presented by BioSteel for the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft.
Central Scouting on Tuesday revealed its final list of the top North American skaters and goalies, and the top International skaters and goalies.
Cristall was the only Rocket to move up the list, improving one spot from his midterm ranking, jumping to 15th among North American skaters. He was awarded the Rockets 2023 MVP award after posting a team-leading 95 points (39G, 56A) over 54 games, appearing on the scoresheet in 44 games this season and producing 28 multi-point performances. Despite missing 14 games due to injury, Cristall led the Rockets in a variety of offensive categories, including goals (39), assists (56), power play assists (24), plus/minus (+18) and game-winning goals (6).
Price is ranked 47th among North American skaters. He was named the Rockets top defenceman for the 2022-23 season. The Saskatoon, Sask. product led the Rockets defence core in assists and points. He nearly doubled his point production from last season, posting 40 points (5G, 35A) through 65 games this year.
Szturc, a late 2003 birthdate, will be eligible for the draft for the second time. He’s ranked 220th among North American skaters after posting 79 points (24G, 55A) over 56 games this past season. He was named the Rockets 28th captain in franchise history in January. Last season he cracked the Preliminary Players to Watch List in October with a ‘C’ rating, but failed to make Central Scouting’s rankings in January and May – he eventually went undrafted.
Both Price and Cristall will suit up with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 20-30 in Basel and Porrentruy, Switzerland.
Central Scouting conducted its final meetings with a five-day in-person session in Toronto earlier this month following a two-day video conference to discuss and finalize the regional lists.
The 2023 draft will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, with the first round June 28 and Rounds 2-7 on June 29. The NHL Draft Lottery to determine the first 16 picks in the draft will be May 8 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVAS) at NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.