2023 NHL Draft

2023 NHL Draft: Connor Bedard Hits 50 Goals, 100 Points In 40 Games

2023 NHL Draft: Connor Bedard Hits 50 Goals, 100 Points In 40 Games

With four points against Prince Albert Friday night, Connor Bedard scored both his 50th goal and notched his 100th point of the season.

Feb 18, 2023 by Chris Peters
2023 NHL Draft: Connor Bedard Hits 50 Goals, 100 Points In 40 Games

The absurdity of Connor Bedard's draft season continued Friday night when the 17-year-old Regina Pats captain registered four points against the Prince Albert Raiders in Western Hockey League action. Bedard scored two goals to hit 50 on the season, while adding two assists to run his season point total to 100. 

Bedard accomplished those lofty point totals in just 40 games. Wayne Gretzky famously broke the NHL's record for fastest player to 50 goals in 39 games. While the WHL may not be the NHL, Bedard hitting 50 in 40 puts him on a level we haven't seen for a junior player since Sidney Crosby's final year with the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL.

Averaging 2.5 points per game and 1.25 goals per game, Bedard is on pace for one of the best draft seasons in the last two decades by a Canadian Hockey League player. When you put him against other No. 1 picks from the CHL since the Crosby draft in 2005, only Connor McDavid and Crosby had a higher rate of point production and none have had a better goals-per-game rate.

When you throw in Bedard's record-setting World Junior Championship over which he had 23 points in seven games, he has 123 points in 47 games, a rate of 1.61. He has been an unstoppable force and only has continued to solidify his status as the clear-cut No. 1 pick for the 2023 NHL Draft.

This is the second straight season that Bedard has eclipsed 50 goals, becoming the youngest player in WHL history to do it last year when he picked up a pair of goals in his 62nd and final game of the season to finish his rookie campaign with 51. Now, in 22 fewer games, he's hit the magical 50 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

If Bedard maintains this pace that he's on, he will hit 71 goals and 142 points to close out the regular season, assuming he stays healthy and plays in each game. Should he hit that 142-point plateau, it will be the highest-scoring season in the WHL since Valeri Bure had 147 in 1992-93.

We're witnessing one of the all-time great WHL players in history every time he hits the ice. The question now is, how much longer will we get to see him this season? 

Regina is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and even though Bedard had four points Friday night, the Pats lost 6-5 in overtime. They'll have a tough matchup in the playoffs and may not last terribly long this postseason despite having the best player in the junior hockey world. However, the stage is set for even more impressive Bedard heroics if he can help drag Regina through a few rounds.

Even if Regina doesn't go on a deeper run in the postseason, Bedard may have other opportunities to add to his impressive draft season. He is still eligible to play in the IIHF World Under-18 Championship, which he's appeared in twice before, but perhaps he could get the call from Hockey Canada to play with the pros at this spring's IIHF Men's World Championship? 

No matter at what point the season ends for the 17-year-old phenom from Vancouver, it's going to go down as one of the best we've ever seen.