Connor Bedard is proving to be a walking (skating?) highlight machine, and he’s not even in the National Hockey League yet.
The 17-year-old star notched his WHL-leading 19th goal of the season Thursday night, putting on an incredible display of skill against the Winnipeg Ice. But those arriving late to the game, even barely, likely missed his sensational tally.
Just seconds after the opening face-off, Bedard intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and quickly turned up ice as he entered the offensive zone. The 5-foot-10 forward then danced around defenceman Karter Prosofsky before tucking the puck behind goaltender Mason Beaupit.
Bedard required only 10 seconds from the opening puck drop to put the Regina Pats ahead 1-0, and he wasn’t finished there, earning a primary assist on teammate Tanner Howe’s goal later that period. His two-point showing gave his team a 2-1 lead following the opening frame.
Thanks to his dominant first-period performance, Bedard extended his point streak to 20 games, becoming the second player in WHL history to accomplish that feat in consecutive seasons. Brendan Shinnimin first achieved that mark with the Tri-City Americans in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The right-handed centre has been held scoreless in just one game thus far, which occurred on opening night against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sep. 23.
Bedard entered Thursday’s slate leading all WHL skaters in goals (18) and points (43) through 20 games. With a three-point showing on Thursday, the generational talent has added to his lead in both categories.
In 2021-22, Bedard posted 51 goals and 100 points across 62 games during his inaugural campaign with the Pats, winning the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the as WHL’s Rookie of the Year.
The Vancouver, B.C., native is widely considered the surefire first-overall pick ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft.
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