September 23, 2022

Bedard among draft eligible players in CHL Top Prospects Game

The CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is coming to Vancouver, and it’s bringing some significant star power with them.

The 2023 Top Prospects Game will be held at Langley Events Center in Vancouver on January 25, 2023, and Connor Bedard, the current No. 1 prospect for the 2023 NHL Draft, is expected to participate.

“We are excited to see the 2023 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game return to Metro Vancouver,” Canadian Hockey League president Dan MacKenzie said in a release. “Always an anticipated event on our calendar, the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game showcases the stars of tomorrow, while the coming NHL Draft class promises to be a strong showing for our league, headlined by a hometown hero and fan favourite in Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats.”

The annual showcase features the top draft talent from the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In total, 14 players ranked within the first round of FCHockey’s Preliminary ranking for the 2023 NHL Draft are from the CHL, including eight from the WHL, five from the OHL, and one from the QMJHL.

The event has featured 15 players who were later selected first overall in the NHL Draft, including Alexis Lafreniere (2020), Nico Hischier (2017), Connor McDavid (2015), Aaron Ekblad (2014), Nathan MacKinnon (2013), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Taylor Hall (2010), John Tavares (2009), and Steven Stamkos (2008).

Bedard, who is from North Vancouver, BC, could make it 16. 

“Two things excite me most about Bedard,” FCHockey scout Joel Henderson said. “His ability to shift laterally once he’s built speed in order to constantly retain puck control is impressive, as is his elite level release to his wrist shot. He can shoot off any foot, from any level of balance, and gets a snap as good as current NHL players already.”

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