Multitudes of international hockey watchers learned of Lynn Valley on Monday night, as the neighbourhood was broadcast on TV as the hometown of top-NHL draft prospect Connor Bedard.
Local hockey fans – who know Lynn Valley lies in the District of North Vancouver – likely lamented that the prodigal player is set to be scooped up by the Chicago Blackhawks, which won the 2023 NHL draft lottery. Bedard’s favourite hockey squad, the Vancouver Canucks, of course, came 11th. The draft happens June 28 and 29 in Nashville.
If you’ve somehow missed the firehose flow of articles in this newspaper, 17-year-old Bedard is the most-anticipated draw since Connor McDavid was picked by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015.
Over the past season, he dominated the WHL on a lacklustre Regina Pats team, putting up 71 goals and 143 points in just 57 games. In the playoffs, he racked up 10 goals and 20 points in seven games.
At this year’s World Juniors, Bedard led the tournament by scoring nine goals and 23 points in seven games, setting new Canadian records for points and assists. He was named MVP, top forward and all-star at the tournament, which is typically dominated by 19-year-olds.
In a Sportsnet interview during the draft lottery, Bedard was asked what qualities he’ll bring to the team that ultimately picks him.
“My will to get better, that’s something I take a lot of pride in,” he said.
With a file from Daniel Wagner