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Skating With Bedard, Andrew Cristall Gains Key Reps With Pro-Heavy Roller Hockey Team



Andrew Cristall, the Washington Capitals’ 2023 second-round draft pick, has played on one of the most talented lines in present-day hockey.

No, it wasn’t in the WHL, where Cristall spent the past three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. It wasn’t at St. George’s School in Vancouver, where Cristall spent his prep school days, either.

It isn’t even on ice.

No, Cristall suits up with some of the world’s best on roller skates, part of one of the top adult hockey teams Vancouver — perhaps even Canada — has to offer.

“There’s a lot of great players on that team,” Cristall said Monday, rattling off names of the North Shore Inline Hockey League’s Great Guys. “Connor Bedard and Kent Johnson, who plays in Columbus. We just added Jake Christiansen, who’s also an NHL player, so that was pretty good. I play with my brother as well. 

“It’s a really fun team to be a part of. We just go out there and have fun and kind of get creative out there, it’s really nice.”

Johnson is the top player in the league’s top division this season, tallying 40 points — 19 goals, 21 assists — through seven games of an ongoing season. Cristall, affected by the talent he is surrounded by, ranks fifth on the team with 21 points — 10 goals, 11 assists.

But the experience isn’t about collecting stats. Sure, it’s fun to go out and have fun with friends, but Cristall values the reps he gets — using them to improve his impact during his “day job.”

“I think when you go out there on the inline rink, whether it’s on the ice or on the floor, you’re still playing hockey at the end of the day,” Cristall said, “so you’ve got to make reads that you might see in the game and pull off some new moves and be creative, so everything helps me.”

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.