In what will most likely be the only homecoming match of his junior vocation, Connor Bedard extended his point streak to 22 online games as the Regina Pats shut out the Vancouver Giants 3- on Friday evening in WHL action.
The 17-yr-aged from North Vancouver, who is broadly anticipated to be picked 1st overall at the 2023 NHL draft in Nashville following June, served attract a sellout group of 5,276 to the Langley Functions Centre, where the Giants have been averaging just about 3,000 enthusiasts so much this period.
Top the WHL scoring race with 49 factors in 23 video games, 10 points obvious of next-spot Connor McClennon of the Winnipeg Ice, the Pats’ captain and leading-line heart observed his common output slip marginally on Friday, to 2.13 details for every game. His only counting stat of the night time was what he identified as “a quite fortunate help.”
Early in the 2nd period, with the Pats presently up 1-, Bedard showed off his pace and his deception as he dished a pass into the slot although reducing guiding the Giants’ web.
He also led the Pats with 7 photographs on goal on Friday, like this close-to-conclude dazzler early in the very first interval.
Bedard reported right after the match that his mother and father, sister and some close friends and neighbors from North Van experienced all appear out to Langley to see him participate in.
A handful of admirers in attendance also went to the hassle of overlaying Bedard’s name on to their Canucks jerseys — hoping to do their part to will the community phenom on to the staff he has supported even though expanding up, which has under no circumstances experienced a No. 1 draft decide in its 52-12 months-historical past.
“I saw some Canucks jerseys, but I by no means saw the back again,” Bedard stated.
And whilst Friday marked the first time he had at any time played a WHL sport in Vancouver, Giants mentor Michael Dyck experienced a really apparent notion of what his squad would be dealing with.
Final yr, Dyck served as an assistant mentor for Group Canada at the Environment Junior Championship — each the cancelled edition past December, where Bedard logged a 4-target activity towards Austria in a 13th-forward function, and the remounted tournament in August where by his minutes have been elevated and he place up 8 factors in 7 online games as part of Canada’s march to gold.
So the Canucks are Bedard’s team, and he cites his off-year training husband or wife Mat Barzal of the New York Islanders as a precious mentor who’s serving to to educate him what it takes to be a professional. But when questioned which NHL participant he’d most like to start out his professional profession with, Bedard named his planet juniors linemate Mason McTavish on Thursday — who just occurs to participate in for the now 32nd-place Anaheim Ducks.
And whilst Bedard didn’t gentle up the scoreboard on Friday, he played significant minutes and place on a exhibit for the enthusiasts in attendance.
“I imagined he performed really nicely,” claimed Dyck. “You’ve got obtained to give our fellas some credit score for defending. I imagine they rose to the occasion.
“But he’s a danger every time he is out there. He is an elite finisher, and he is an elite playmaker. When you have that, you not only have to be mindful of where he is, you have to be conscious of the place most people else is.”
When the three stars had been handed down at the conclusion of the evening, Bedard was left off the list.
His linemate Borya Valis gained third-star honors for his two-stage evening. He scored Regina’s opening intention in the first time period and picked up the major aid on the 2nd-period tally that was triggered by Bedard.
Giants captain and Ottawa Senators prospect Zack Ostapchuk was named second star, with a activity-higher 8 pictures on purpose and a 6-for-9 document on the faceoff dot.
And on a night where the Giants outshot the Pats 47-35, previous Vancouver goalkeeper Drew Sim gained initial-star honors with his second shutout of the season for Regina — in his 1st-ever begin at the Langley Functions Middle. During his time with the Giants, he performed two highway game titles for the duration of the 2019-20 period, then nine game titles in the bubble setting in Kamloops and Kelowna throughout the shortened 2020-21 marketing campaign. He was traded to Regina on Oct. 13, 2021.
Friday night’s gain in Vancouver kicks off the Pats’ 5-sport tour by British Columbia. With the potential to be the initial B.C.-born player to be picked 1st in general considering that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went to the Edmonton Oilers in 2011, Bedard’s title and name are spurring unparalleled ticket demand across the province.
Sitting seventh in the WHL’s Japanese Convention with a report of 10-11-1-1, the Pats will stop by the Victoria Royals on Saturday ahead of heading to the Interior to confront the Kelowna Rockets, the Kamloops Blazers and the Prince George Cougars.
They’ll then strike Edmonton and Prince Albert on their way back again to Regina, where they are going to host the Calgary Hitmen at the Brandt Centre on Saturday, Dec. 10.
“It truly is pleasant to have somebody like that in our league, that can appear out listed here and offer out structures,” Dyck explained. “You listen to about it in the Quebec League with Crosby or the Ontario League with McDavid. Not that I am putting that type of stress on Connor, but it can be wonderful to have a person like that. It is not only a handle for our admirers, it can be a address for our fellas to play in that ambiance.”