North Vancouver’s Connor Bedard will likely never play another game as a junior hockey player, but they’re sending him away with some nice parting gifts.
On Saturday Bedard made more hockey history, becoming the first player ever to earn the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, Top Prospect and Top Scorer awards in the same season. The awards hat trick came after Bedard led the CHL in goals with 71 and points with 143 during the 2022-23 season playing for the Regina Pats. The Top Prospect Award is presented annually to the top CHL player eligible for the upcoming NHL draft.
As is typical for Bedard, he was quick to deflect praise onto others after accepting the three awards.
“There is no award won by one person. A lot of people go into that – coaching and family and all that,” he told reporters Saturday after receiving the awards. “The camera is on me, but there are so many people behind the scenes that have helped me achieve that.”
Bedard was thrust into the spotlight in 2020 when he became the first ever player granted exceptional status early entry into the Western Hockey League, and he has done nothing but surpass those lofty expectations ever since.
“When you’re granted the status that he was granted, that signals something,” said Pats head coach and general manager John Paddock in a release. “It means something special, but you have to go out and prove it and he clearly has.”
Bedard is now off to the NHL Draft Combine this week with other top prospects. He is expected to be selected No. 1 overall by Chicago in the NHL Draft scheduled for June 28-29 in Nashville.