April 21, 2023

Connor Bedard won’t play at the IIHF World Championship: report

Connor Bedard won’t make another stop on the international stage before the 2023 NHL Draft.

Bedard, the consensus top pick for the 2023 draft, will play at the 2023 IIHF World Championship in Tampere, Finland and Riga, Latvia from May 12-28, according to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek.

The 17-year-old posted a remarkable season with the Regina Pats that saw him lead the entire Western Hockey League in goals (71), assists (72), and points (143) in becoming the first player on that circuit to record 140-plus points in a season since 1995-96. By comparison, Connor McDavid logged 120 points (44 goals, 76 assists) in 47 games in his draft-eligible season in 2014-15 with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.

“There is really no way to undersell how dominant Bedard has been this year,” FCHockey scout Donesh Mazloum said. “He assaulted the WHL scoresheet to the tune of 71 goals and 143 points in 57 games — a full 36 points ahead of second best despite playing nine fewer games — and finished the season by almost single handedly willing his Regina Pats teams to a series upset over the Blades in the playoffs…again showing a sparkling stat line of 10 goals and 20 points in seven games.

“Opponents have been game planning around him all year and no one has come close to slowing him down let alone stopping him. I think that there is no question that this has been the most impressive junior season since Connor McDavid.”

Canada opens the World Championship on May 12 against host Latvia.

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