June 7, 2023

Bedard, Fantilli among nominees for IIHF Male Player of the Year

Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, each eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft, are among the seven players nominated as IHF Male Player of the Year, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced Wednesday.

Bedard, the consensus No. 1 pick for the 2023 draft, dominated the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in December and January, leading the tournament with 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in just seven games. He led second-place Logan Cooley of Team USA by nine points, the largest ever gap at the tournament. For his efforts, Bedard was named tournament MVP, IIHF Directorate Award Best Forward, and was nominated to the Media All-Star Team.

The 17-year-old had 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 games with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, and was named the WHL’s top player. He also become the first player to net each of the the Canadian Hockey League’s Top Prospect Award, the David Branch Player of the Year Award, and the Top Scorer Award in a single season.

Fantilli, the consensus No. 2 pick, became just the second Canadian ever to win gold at both the World Juniors and 2023 IIHF World Championship in the same season, joining Jonathan Loews. He’s just the 11th player ever to do so regardless of country, and the second-youngest. At the World Juniors, Fantilli netted five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games, and he added three points (one goal, two assists) in 10 games at the Worlds.

The 18-year-old also doubled as the most dominant player in the NCAA this season, winning the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman — just the third to do so — after pacing the circuit with 65 points (30 goals, 35 assists) in 36 games.

Also nominated for the award was Detroit Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik of Czechia, Buffalo Sabres forward JJ Peterka and Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider of Germany, Vancouver Canucks goalie prospect Arturs Silovs of Latvia, and veteran Switzerland forward Andres Ambuhl.

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