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North Vancouver's Connor Bedard scores jaw-dropping 'Goal of the Year' candidate in WHL

Regina Pats forward is still just 16 years old and still awesome at hockey
Connor Bedard credit Keith Hershmiller Photography Regina Pats WEB
Connor Bedard flies up the ice during a recent game with the Regina Pats. Bedard got the hockey world buzzing with a jaw-dropping goal against the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.

This is your periodic reminder that North Vancouver 16-year-old Connor Bedard is still ridiculously good at hockey.

Bedard’s latest sorcery came Sunday during a 5-4 OT loss for his Regina Pats on the road against the Calgary Hitmen. With his team trailing 2-0 early in the third period, Bedard scored an instant classic that is already earning praise as the potential “Goal of the Year” in the Western Hockey League. Words don’t do it justice, so please just watch the ridiculousness here:

Bedard went on to pick up another goal and an assist in the period to help his Pats send the game to overtime, but it wasn’t enough to secure the win as Sean Tschigerl scored the winner for the Hitmen in the extra frame.

Bedard’s goal, however, was what had the hockey world buzzing after the game. The between-the-legs move called to mind a goal that Tyler Motte of the Vancouver Canucks scored in January. Have a look and spot the similarities.

The duelling beauties sparked a fun social interaction between Motte and Bedard, with each dropping a “sick” emoji on Instagram in appreciation of the other’s skills.

Bedard, who grew up a Canucks fan, is on record as saying that Motte is his favourite player on the current Vancouver roster.

The dream goal was another addition to the long list of accomplishments for Bedard, the first-ever player to earn exceptional status early entry into the WHL. In December, Bedard became the seventh 16-year-old named to Canada’s national junior men’s team for the World Junior Championships, adding his name to an exclusive list that includes Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby.

And though the world juniors were cancelled midway through the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns this year, Bedard still had time to make another entry into the history books, becoming the youngest player ever to score four goals in a single world junior men's hockey championship game, notching a hat trick plus one in an 11-2 win over Austria.

As of today (Feb. 9), Bedard is 11th in the WHL with an average of 1.38 points per game, having registered 25 goals and 22 assists in 34 contests. He is the early favourite to be picked first overall in the 2023 NHL entry draft.  

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