Won its second gold medal for Canada at the worlds junior hockey At the Championships last month, Bedard is set to highlight the play of Kubota CHL/NHL’s top prospects on Wednesday night, when 40 of the Junior Hockey League’s top talents go head-to-head in Langley, BC.
Western Hockey League match against Star Center regina pates Rescuer Oliver Bonk said: “It’s going to be a massive job.
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“Just give it your best,” said the blueliner of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. “You can’t back up too much because he’s getting blown by you, you can’t shoot him because he’s got a one-shot shot. So it’s going to be tough, but I’ll do my best.”
Bedard, a 17-year-old from North Vancouver, BC, has left jaws loose with his incredible play for both the Pats and Team Canada, and is widely expected to go No. 1 in the NHL Entry Draft this summer.
He is the first player granted exceptional status to play in the WHL at age 15, and last month set multiple scoring records at the World Juniors.
He also comes into the game among top prospects on an impressive 32-game point streak in league play and sits on top in the WHL this season with 81 points (39 goals, 42 assists) in 33 appearances.
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It’s a lot of fun competing against Bedard,’ said center Nate Danielson of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings.
“He’s very dynamic. I think we’ve all seen him get past that,” Danielson said. “I think you just have to play your game, and that’s what he’s going to do out there.” does. And you have to deal with it as it comes.
As a guard for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, Lukas Dragicevic doesn’t match up against Bedard very often these days, and that’s fine by him.
I have grown up playing against him and he has been doing all that to me. So I’m happy to see him doing it with other defenders, not me,” Draviswick, who hails from Richmond, B.C., said with a smile.
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Dragicevic said limiting the young superstar’s offense is all about awareness.
“You just know he’s on the ice and where he is. And you guys have seen his shot, so he can score from anywhere.” “You always have to be ready for it and know where it is.”
While Bedard is the favorite to go first overall, this year’s NHL draft class is expected to be deep with talent.
Those expectations warrant extra attention for up-and-coming stars. Wednesday’s game is expected to be played in front of a sold-out crowd at the 5,276-seat Langley Event Center, with dozens of NHL scouts and managers in attendance.
Handling the extra eye doesn’t create much extra pressure, Bonk said.
“I think the biggest thing is that (scouts and NHL management) want winners,” he said. “So it’s easier to focus on the team. And, obviously, if the team is doing really well, you’re going to do well.
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Being from BC, Bedard generated a flurry of interest when he rode through the province on a long road trip in late November and early December.
In every BC city where Regina played – Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George – a sellout took place.
“This is the first time in over 30 years that I’ve been in this business where a player has generated so much interest,” Bruce Hamilton, president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, told Global News.
Notably, the Pats went 4–1 in B.C. on November 30 with a 9–3 decision in Kamloops. In that game, however, Bedard scored three points with two goals and one assist.
, With files from Doyle Potento
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