The Kelowna Rockets were represented well at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville last week.
Early in the second round on Thursday morning (June 29), the Washington Capitals picked the Rockets current super star Andrew Cristall with the 40th overall selection.
“It feels unbelievable to finally have my name called,” said Cristall to the media after getting drafted. “It’s really special and I couldn’t be happier with Washington.”
In 115 career WHL games, all with the Rockets, the 18-year old has put up 164 points (67 goals, 97 assists).
But Cristall wasn’t the only Rocket selected as in the third round of the draft, the Seattle Kraken selected Rockets defenceman Caden Price 84th overall.
“When I heard my name called, there was a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Price. “It’s a new franchise in the league and I’m super excited to get started.”
The 17-year old has 61 points (seven goals, 54 assists) to his name in 112 WHL games.
Both Cristall and Price went right from Nashville to their respective new NHL cities for development camp. All NHL franchises are holding development camps for their prospects this week and many other current and former Kelowna Rockets also have been invited to NHL development camps.
Along with Cristall and Price, there are three other current Rockets that accepted invites to NHL camps:
• Forward Gabriel Sztruc – Tampa Bay Lightning;
• Defenceman Jackson DeSouza – Detroit Red Wings;
• Goaltender Kari Kykkanen – Calgary Flames.
Former Rockets attending NHL camps are:
• Forward Colton Dach – Chicago Blackhawks (drafted by team in 2021);
• Goaltender Talyn Boyko – New York Rangers (drafted by team in 2021);
• Forward Pavel Novak – Minnesota Wild (draft by team in 2020);
• Forward Carson Golder – Winnipeg Jets (invited);
• Forward Adam Kydd – Calgary Flames (invited);
• Forward Trevor Wong – Dallas Stars (invited);
• Forward Alex Swetlikoff – Vegas Golden Knights (invited).
Additionally, the Rockets newest player, Jakub Stancl, is attending the St. Louis Blues development camp after he was drafted by the team in the fourth round of the NHL Draft. He was also drafted by the Rockets on Wednesday, July 5, in the CHL Import Draft.