The Western Hockey League granted 14-year-old Connor Bedard exceptional status to play in the WHL next season. Bedard is the first exceptional status player in WHL history.
NEWS | BC Hockey is proud to announce that North Vancouver’s Connor Bedard is the first player to gain exceptional player status for eligibility in @TheWHL!
— BC Hockey (@BCHockey_Source) March 25, 2020
Bedard Granted Exceptional Status
Connor Bedard is a 5′-8″, 165 pound forward from North Vancouver, British Columbia. He has had tremendous success playing for West Van Academy Prep in the midget level. That level is a level normally for players who are over 15-years-old. However, the age difference didn’t hold him back. Bedard scored 43 goals, added 41 assists for 84 points in 36 games to lead the Canadian Sport School Hockey League in scoring.
“BC Hockey would like to congratulate Connor on being announced as the first player from Western Canada to be granted exceptional status in the CHL and WHL,” said BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer Barry Petrachenko in a statement. “Throughout the evaluation process, Connor has displayed the tremendous potential he has both mentally and physically to be able to be granted exceptional status.”
The Hockey News writer, Ryan Kennedy, saw Bedard play two years ago. He was watching a camp in Toronto where Bedard played with many players older than him. This is what Kennedy wrote about Bedard.
“Bedard was playing against older talents such as Quinton Byfield, Cole Perfetti, and Johnny Beecher, yet he was incredibly dangerous the whole game. His shot release was practically NHL-caliber already and again, this was two summers ago.”
Here is a highlight pack of Bedard.
The Western Hockey League’s Draft lottery is taking place today. The worst teams are the Swift Current Broncos, Moose Jaw Warriors, Tri-City Americans, Prince George Cougars, Regina Pats, and Red Deer Rebels. Bedard will more than likely be drafted by one of them.
Even though Bedard has received exceptional status, his hockey future is still uncertain. Some exceptional players like John Tavares, Connor McDavid, and Aaron Ekblad have gone on to be NHL stars. That doesn’t however happen with everyone. Joe Veleno turned out to be a first-round draft pick, but doesn’t project to be a super star. Sean Day was drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft, and is currently playing between the AHL and the ECHL. Therefore, Bedard could still fall anywhere from a super star to a minor league player.