Andrew Cristall was drafted 8th overall by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. (Photo - Kelowna Rockets)

Andrew Cristall was drafted 8th overall by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. (Photo - Kelowna Rockets)

Kelowna Rockets 2020 WHL Draft Recap

The Rockets made 11 selections, including one goaltender, four defencemen and six forwards

The Kelowna Rockets were able to strengthen the depth chart after selecting 11 players in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft on Wednesday, April 22.

The bantam draft represents the future for so many young players embarking on what they hope to be the start of a long and prosperous career. But on April 22 it also represented the end of an era for Rockets’ assistant general manager and director of player personnel Lorne Frey.

After 30 years of scouting and recruiting, Frey decided to step away as Rockets’ assistant GM, a choice that allows him to spend more time with family. And while his final task as GM was sure to be sentimental, it was business as usual.

“We picked guys who are skilled that can skate and compete. It was a deep draft, hopefully, the players that we took take strides and improve over the next couple of years,” said Frey.

“That’s what you’re in this for, to see which players down the road improve and get better, in saying that they are good prospects at this time who are going to grow and develop.”

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets name Terry McFaul head scout

With the 8th overall pick in the draft, the Rockets used their first selection to take left-wing Andrew Cristall from St. George’s School (CSSBHL).

Cristall, 15, spent last season with St. George’s School Bantam Prep, recording 80 points (43G, 37A) and 47 penalty minutes in 27 games. He added another seven points (4G, 3A) and two penalty minutes in two playoff games.

Frey said Cristall is a highly skilled player who makes those around him better.

“We think Andrew is a very good hockey player, he’s highly skilled with a tremendous hockey IQ,” said Frey. “He controls the game and sets the tempo of it, and he makes players better around him.”

Cristall, a native of Burnaby B.C. voiced his enthusiasm on Twitter after being selected by the Rockets.

“I’m so honoured and excited to be picked by such a prestigious organization,” said Cristall. “I’m looking forward to the future.”

READ MORE: Kelowna retains top spot as mid-size city for sport hosting

Other Rockets selections in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft include:

PLAYER: Caden Price (Round 2, Pick 30)

POSITION: D

HEIGHT: 5’11

WEIGHT: 156

BIRTHDATE: 2005

HOMETOWN: Saskatoon, SK

2019-20 Statistics (Saskatoon Generals Bantam AA): 31 GP, 31 G, 32 A, 55 P

PLAYER: Marcus Pacheco (Round 3, Pick 49)

POSITION: C

HEIGHT: 5’9

WEIGHT: 144

BIRTHDATE: April 6, 2005

HOMETOWN: Edmonton, AB

2019-20 Statistics (OHA Edmonton Bantam Prep: 30 GP, 15 G, 24 A, 39 PTS

Logan Dochuk, D, Round 6, Pick 115

Jackson Romeril, D, Round 6, Pick 118

Alex Scheiwiller, G, Round 7, Pick 140

Grady Lenton, C, Round 8, Pick 161

Ethan Neutens, F, Round 9, Pick 180

Ty Mason, C, Round 9, Pick 184

Will Munro, LW, Round 11, Pick 228

Wyatt Homeniuk, D, Round 12, Pick 250

Terry McFaul has taken over as the Rockets head scout. There is still no timetable for when the 2020-21 season will begin.


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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