Connor Bedard stays a Vancouver Canucks’ fan.
“I attempt to watch as many video games as I can,” the celebrated 17-year-old centre from North Vancouver, who leads the Regina Pats on their five-game highway journey of B.C. beginning this weekend, stated Thursday after observe on the Langley Occasions Centre. “Clearly a giant fan since I used to be a child. I’ve been watching a bit. We’ve been fairly busy. I’ve missed some video games, however I’ve been attempting to look at.”
There are Vancouver followers on the market who would like to see Bedard as a Canucks’ participant in a yr’s time. There’s the smallest of home windows of alternative for that, since Bedard has been the prohibitive favorite to go No. 1 total within the 2023 NHL Draft for at the very least a few seasons now.
The 5-foot-10, 185 pound, proper handed shot goes into Regina’s go to Friday to the LEC to face the Vancouver Giants main the WHL in scoring with 48 factors, together with 19 targets, in 22 video games. He has 12 extra factors than the subsequent highest scorer.
Regina Pats vs. Vancouver Giants
7:30 p.m., Langley Occasions Centre. Radio: AM650
Friday will mark his one hundredth profession WHL regular-season recreation and he’s already amassed 82 targets and 176 factors in Regina colors.
In March 2020, he joined the likes of Connor McDavid, John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad in receiving distinctive participant standing from Hockey Canada, which allowed him to play main junior full-time a season early as a 15-year-old. Final December he turned the seventh 16-year-old ever to make the Canadian world junior workforce, following Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza, Jay Bouwmeester, Sidney Crosby and the aforementioned McDavid.
Bedards insists that he’s not pondering draft prospects proper now.
“I’ve solely performed 20 video games thus far. There’s an extended methods to go,” he stated. “For me, I’m specializing in what we’re doing with the Pats and these video games right here.”
The Pats’ video games towards Vancouver, the Victoria Royals (Saturday) and the Kelowna Rockets (Tuesday) are all listed as sellouts, and Regina’s go to to the Kamloops Blazers (subsequent Wednesday) and the Prince George Cougars (subsequent Friday) are anticipated to observe swimsuit. Nobody in WHL circles can recall when one thing like that has occurred earlier than.
Bedard’s media availability attracted an NHL-sized scrum Thursday. Regina defenceman Tanner Brown says that sort of consideration is the norm for the Pats due to Bedard, and praised Bedard’s capacity to deal with all of it.
“Good recreation, dangerous recreation he’s the identical. Granted, he doesn’t have too many dangerous video games,” stated Brown, a 20-year-old Kelowna native and former Big who will likely be enjoying his first recreation on the LEC on Friday since Vancouver dealt him to the Winnipeg Ice ultimately yr’s commerce deadline.
“From my perspective, it’s positively quite a bit on the child, however he has his enjoyable.
“If it was me, I’d be fairly labored up and get too concerned, however he does a extremely good job of separating himself from it.”
Bedard talked Thursday about how he retains in touch with New York Islanders centre Mathew Barzal, the Coquitlam native that Bedard has skated with in summers up to now. He tagged Barzal as a “actually good function mannequin,” who has given him “plenty of good recommendation.”
Bedard was additionally requested if there was one NHLer who he might have as a linemate to start out his profession with, and he picked Mason McTavish, an Anaheim Geese’ ahead.
McTavish and Bedard have been teammates on the Canadian world junior workforce final summer time.
The Pats (September 11-1-1) go into this journey sitting seventh within the Jap Convention. The highest eight groups within the 12-team loop make the playoffs. With Regina at present in the midst of the pack, there’s been some scuttlebutt in regards to the Pats probably dealing Bedard by the Jan. 10 commerce deadline and receiving a windfall of prospects and draft picks in return. There have been studies out of Kamloops in regards to the Blazers, who’re internet hosting the Memorial Cup event, being fascinated by Bedard.
Pats normal supervisor/coach John Paddock was angered Thursday in regards to the thought of dealing Bedard was even introduced up.
“That’s a silly query … There’s just one place the place that’s come out of all yr and that’s in B.C.,” he stated.
The Giants (8-9-2-2), in the meantime, are coming off a 6-4 highway win over the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday. Colton Langkow and Zack Ostapchuk each had two targets for Vancouver, whereas Ethan Semeniuk and Matthew Edwards had the others. It was Edwards’ first profession objective within the WHL.
Extra information, fewer advertisements: Our in-depth journalism is feasible because of the assist of our subscribers. For simply $3.50 per week, you will get limitless, ad-lite entry to The Vancouver Solar, The Province, Nationwide Submit and 13 different Canadian information websites. Help us by subscribing immediately: The Vancouver Solar | The Province.