February 2, 2023

Bedard showing no signs of slowing in incredible draft season

The hockey world seems to be fixed Connor Bedard. Bedard seems to be fixed on scoring.

A lot.

Bedard, on pace for 143 points this season, has been lighting the lamp like no other on either side of a month-long hiatas to repesent Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. Bedard led Canada to gold in a second consecutive World Juniors, setting multiple records with his 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in seven games.

But the tournament seemed to have elevated Bedard’s game to an even higher level, as he has been on a tear since returning.

“When you’re seeing these guys and what they do and getting to play with them, you can always learn stuff,” Bedard said. “I think that’s good for my game, for sure.”

Recording 25 points (17 goals, eight assists) in eight games since returning to the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, the 17-year-old is playing in a league of his own as he awaits June, where he is a lock to be the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Held scoreless in his first game of the season, Bedard has recorded points in the next 35. With 21 games remaining for the Pats, it’s difficult for those on the outside not to think about that first game and what could have been.

For Bedard, though, it’s not something that keeps him up at night.

“Obviously, maybe I wish I did, but in the end, it’s not a huge deal,” Bedard said. “It’s kind of funny that’s the way it worked out up to this point. But it’s not really something I’ve put too much attention toward or focused on too much. I think it’s something that’s a random stat, and people have put some attention towards it, but for myself, I’m not too focused on it.”

Despite never getting that first game back, Bedard continues his impressive streak as the Pats fight for playoff contention. With 90 points through the duration of the streak and with the ease he seems to do it, we wonder how long this can continue.

“I haven’t really thought about it too much,” Bedard said.  “There’s been some games where I got a lucky one in overtime and stuff, so there’s definitely been some close ones. For me, I haven’t thought about it. I’m just trying to go out there and play my best game and see what happens. It’s nothing I’ve put too much attention towards.”

Though 35 games with a point is remarkable, Bedard still has a ways to go before reaching the WHL record. If Bedard continued his streak until the end of the regular season, he would tie the 56-game mark set by Jeff Nelson of the Prince Albert Raiders, set in the 1990-91 season (108 points).

Amid his point-scoring streak, Bedard began a goal-scoring streak as well. Scoring in his last 11 games (22 goals), the WHL goal-scoring streak will soon be within reach, as he chases Cliff Ronning of the New Westminster Bruins, who set the mark during the 1984-85 season, recording a goal in 18 consecutive games.

Whether his streaks continue for a few more weeks or comes to an end following his next game, Bedard has had a season to remember around the much-hype 2023 NHL Draft.

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