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NHL’s hottest prospect visits BC ahead of Giants vs Regina Pats game

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Junior hockey star Connor Bedard, on his path to becoming the first player in the NHL draft in 2023, visited the Langley Events Center today (Nov. 24).

The 2005-born right-handed center and Regina Pats captain was at the home rink of the Vancouver Giants for a practice session ahead of an already sold-out game against the Giants on Friday, Nov. 25.

The upcoming face-off has got Langley fans excited, with some paying as high as $192 for a single ticket. There has never been this much demand for tickets for a regular game in Langley before. Bedard said he is excited for his first game in Langley and “pumped up” to play in front of a sold-out crowd.

The high-scoring hockey player is on a BC road trip playing at various locations, and most of the arenas have already been sold out.

“It’s pretty cool to see [the sold out games]. It is also exciting for our whole team and people will see a lot of energy,” said the North Vancouver-born player.

Even Bedard’s family had to make early adjustments, but they were all able to secure their tickets, confirmed Bedard.

Many hockey experts and fans consider the 17-year-old born as the hottest name in the 2023 NHL Draft conversations. As per analysts, he is most likely to go first overall this NHL drafting season.

Bedard said he is excited about the drafting and even taking advice from experienced players. He further shared that his international games have allowed him to train with other NHLers and sharpen his skills.

“I have seen their work ethic. You can learn a lot from [the NHLers], and it’s awesome.” he commented.

When asked if he watches the Canucks games, the young athlete said he has been a “big fan” of the team since he was a kid but has missed a few matches in recent times due to a tight schedule.

“We have been pretty busy, and I have missed a few games, but I always try to watch [Canucks].”

Bedard also named NHLer Mason McTavish of Anaheim Ducks as a player he looks up to.

In 2020, Bedard became the first player ever granted “exceptional status” in the Western Hockey League (WHL), allowing him to enter the league at the age of 15 as opposed to the normal 16.

The 5’10” tall player was also the first overall pick by the Regina Pats in the WHL’s Bantam Draft. In the 2021-22 season, he became the league’s youngest 50-goal scorer, finishing with 51 goals and 100 points for Regina.

Bedard also represented Canada in the World Under-19 championship at the age of 15.

Vancouver Giants take on the Regina Pats at LEC on Friday, Nov. 25. The puck drops at 7:30 pm The 2023 NHL entry draft starts on Wednesday, June 28.

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Bashaw Minor HockeyCanucksLangley Events CentreVancouver Giants

Connor Bedard met with the media Thursday, Nov. 25, 2022, at the Langley Events Centre. (Ryan Molag/LEC)

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