The 2023 NHL Entry Draft is shaping up to be something special. From Sidney Crosby to Connor McDavid to Auston Matthews, and many others, there really is nothing like breathtaking raw talent ready to enter the NHL. If you’ve followed Canadian junior hockey and its plethora of top prospects over the past few years, you’ve likely heard the name, Connor Bedard. As it stands, all indications point towards the Regina St. Pats standout being the consensus first-overall pick in two years’ time. What makes him so impactful and why is he making headlines in and around the hockey world? Let’s read on and find out, shall we.
Date of Birth: July 17, 2005
Size: 5’9″, 181 pounds
WHL Team: Regina Pats
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023
Tip of the Iceberg
When you think of Bedard, or see him play either in-person or on television one thing comes to mind – talent. Man, oh man, can this kid ever play the game at an elite level. As a player, he combines a unique skill set with uncanny speed and brilliant playmaking ability. He’s strong on his skates, exemplifies a real passion for the game, and has a real competitive streak to his game. In addition, Bedard can score goals, sees the ice better than most, and possesses the instinctual “wherewithal” that’s way beyond his time.
At the tender age of 16, Bedard has dominated the Western Hockey League (WHL) and has easily emerged as one of Canadian junior hockey’s most coveted (and sought-after) youngsters. Bedard’s development as a player has placed him on the proverbial radar of several NHL teams who hope to secure his services at the 2023 Draft. All indications point towards Bedard developing into a generational-type talent ready to take the hockey world (and its rampant fan base) by storm. Not too shabby for a kid who’s yet to celebrate his 17th birthday yet, wouldn’t you say?
Regina Pats (WHL)
If you’re a hockey fan living in Regina, Saskatchewan, or the surrounding areas – chances are you’re doing everything you can to catch a glimpse of Bedard. The 2020-21 WHL (pandemic-shortened) campaign saw Bedard skate in 15 games with the Regina Pats. His production in those games? How do 15 goals and 28 points sound to go along with a plus-9 rating? Oh, and that was his age 15 season.
Fast-forward a season to 2021-22 and Bedard has continued his rampant pace in “the Dub” with the Pats. In fact, the kid is on an absolute heater. In 53 games played so far (and counting), Bedard has notched 44 goals and 40 assists for 84 points. What’s even more extravagant is that there are still 15 games remaining on the schedule, so he can further platoon his statistical production – not to mention his draft stock. In short, the North Vancouver, British Columbia native has a legitimate chance to eclipse the 100-point plateau – again, as a 16-year-old. It goes without saying that his talent level really is something to behold. Stay tuned, hockey fans.
Follow Dom Lunardo on Twitter @TapetoTape88
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images