Canadian Hockey League (CHL)

Connor Bedard Scores Four Goals In First WHL Game Since World Juniors

Connor Bedard Scores Four Goals In First WHL Game Since World Juniors

After crushing Canadian records at the most recent World Junior Championship, Connor Bedard lit up the highlight reels in his WHL return.

Jan 9, 2023 by Chris Peters
Connor Bedard Scores Four Goals In First WHL Game Since World Juniors

Connor Bedard rewrote the Canadian record books at the World Junior Championship, culminating with a gold medal for Canada on Thursday. Back with the Regina Pats in the WHL and playing in his first game since the World Juniors on Sunday evening, Bedard wasted no time in resuming his dominance of one of Canada's top junior leagues.

In a game against the Calgary Hitmen, Bedard took the reins of the Regina offense and put together yet another masterpiece. In a 6-2 win, Bedard scored four goals and assisted on the other two.

As a result, Bedard now has 70 points through a mere 29 games in the WHL this season. Should he maintain a 2.41 points-per-game pace for the rest of the season, it would be the highest points per game average by a WHL player in the last 30 years.

We're running out of superlatives for what Bedard is doing this season. He's one of the most remarkable goal-scoring talents to enter the NHL Draft in the modern era, with Alex Ovechkin perhaps being the only peer that fits as a comparable player in terms of goal-scoring production.

Bedard has 31 goals in 29 games, an average of 1.06 goals per game. And he's doing this as a young 17-year-old. He won't turn 18 until July. 

Though there were some in the scouting community that were willing to say the gap between Bedard and the field was not impossible to close, it seems as though the last several weeks have placed a canyon between him and the rest of the 2023 NHL Draft class.

He just scored 23 points in seven games at the most prestigious junior hockey tournament in the world and one of the premier international hockey events on the calendar. It was the fourth-highest point total by any player ever, and the most by a U18 player in the tournament's history.

That should have earned him at least a weekend off and a chance to relax a little before heading back into the fray of the grueling WHL season. That wouldn't be Bedard's style, though. 

He was on one of the first flights out of Halifax the morning after helping Canada secure gold in a dramatic overtime win over Czechia, traveled over 2,500 miles back to Regina, maybe got one full day of rest if he was lucky and dropped six points in his first game back with his regular team in over a month.

With his performance Sunday, Bedard is the WHL's leading scorer by eight points, despite the next closest player to him on the list appearing in seven more games.

We're witnessing one of the greatest junior hockey seasons of all time. There's really no other way to put it.