Prospect Profile: Craig Armstrong

Photo Credit: Andrew Warburton/Rocky View Publishing

Name: Craig Armstrong

Team: Edge Midget Prep (CSSHL)

Position: Winger

Date of Birth: June 5th 2003

Hometown: Airdrie, Alberta

Height/Weight: 5’8 161lbs

Hand: Left

WHL Draft: 9th Overall in 2018 – Prince George Cougars (Signed)

 

*Eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft*


Areas Of Strength

  • Speed
  • Compete
  • Tenacity

Areas Of Weakness

  • East-West Game
  • Puck Distributing at Top Speed
  • Defensive Urgency

Player Report: A player we picked out to be a mid round first round pick, Armstrong was selected by the Prince George Cougars with the 9th overall pick. Armstrong has shown consistent offensive play since he entered the AMBHL as a 13 year old. With 31 combined points in his rookie season, then easily topping that production in his second season with 78 points where he was named AMBHL South Top’s forward and helped his Airdrie Xtreme team to an AMBHL Championship. Craig has chosen to join the Edge Midget Prep team of the CSSHL this upcoming season, along with several others from last years Airdrie Xtreme team.

Armstrong is a tenacious scoring winger who is blessed with dynamic offensive attributes. An energetic winger who plays the game at a fast pace and is incredibly nimble + shifty with the puck. Armstrong displays tremendous footwork in a north-south game, burning defensemen with his elite top speed and a deft zone entry approach. Armstrong is incredibly crafty with the puck as he can make quick plays with his hands to elude the opposition at top speed and create lanes of attacks for himself. His work ethic often goes unmatched, competes harder than anyone else on the ice. A robust player, he protects the puck like someone whose 180+lbs, strong on his feet and drives through contact. His elite skill with the puck often shines in his north-south transitional game, as he has the high-end footwork that allows him to accelerate quickly to his top speed. An effortless skater whose compact stride allows him to quickly change direction with the puck. He surprises goaltender with his shooting abilities in stride, he can unleash a precise shot backed with velocity and power that he can get off at top speed. I’ve often eluded to Armstrong as more of a shooter rather than a playmaker as his first instincts with the puck in transition is to get it to the net. Although I regarded his lack of an East-West game as a weakness, it was something that he started to develop as the year progressed, showing confidences in attacking the middle of the ice with the puck. In the offensive zone Armstrong’s compete and determination shine in puck battles. A fearless forward who often exits puck battle with possession. Willing to provide in any which way to a team’s offence, at time’s providing a durable net front presence. Anticipates developing scoring opportunities and opens himself up as a shooting option for the playmaker. Armstrong’s one-dimensional game is something he will need to work on as he continues to develop both physically and mentally. He’s much faster and stronger than most players his age and exploits that to its peak. A comparable player for Craig Armstrong is likely a player like Jayden Halbgewachs or Mason McCarty. Isn’t overly involved in the defensive play and more time’s than not is the last man back. Will need to polish up his defensive intensity to become a more well rounded player.

Overall we think the potential that comes with a player like Craig Armstrong is sky high. Already blending the strength, speed, and skill to play at the WHL level. He should have any issues with translating his style of game to the WHL, I think he will struggle in his first year to produce with goaltenders being quicker and smarter. Likely a player who will take his time until he is an elite offensive presence in the WHL, I’d expect him to reach the 70+ point plateau at some point in his WHL career. On a team like Prince George who have so many skilled young centres, I think he is a great fit on the team’s top six winger spot as he can score and play fast. The Cougar’s will likely be patient with this selection and allow him to develop into his ceiling at his own pace.

Scouts Quote: “He is a tenacious player who plays the game the right way. All he wants to do is win. His teammates respect him and his opposition respects him. Craig is a leader in every way, shape, and form” – Bob Simmond (Prince George Cougars/Director of Scouting)

 

Past Seasons:

2016-2017 – Airdrie Xtreme: 36GP-14G-15A-29PTS 22PIMS Playoffs: 2GP-0G-2A-2PTS 0PIMS

2017-2018 – Airdrie Xtreme: 34GP-23G-31A-54PTS 69PIMS Playoffs: 13GP-14G-10A-24PTS 36PIMS

AC Avalance: 1GP-1G-0A-1PTS 0PIMS

 

Accolades:

2017-2018 AMBHL Champion

AMBHL South Top Forward