On Monday March 23, 2020 the WHL made an announcement granting fourteen-year old sensation Connor Bedard exceptional status to play in the WHL next season. Barry Petrachenko, BC Hockey chief executive officer had this to say about Connor’s acceptance: “Throughout the evaluation process, Connor has displayed the tremendous potential he has both mentally and physically to be able to be granted exceptional status.”
Bedard becomes the 7th player in CHL history to be granted exceptional status alongside Shane Wright, Joe Veleno, Sean Day, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, and Sidney Crosby. Bedard has been lighting it up at West Van Academy Prep in the CSSHL which aided his acceptance into WHL. With his play and acceptance in mind, Bedard is already drawing comparisons to NHL superstars such as McDavid and Crosby. Even if he isn’t able to live up to these incredibly high standards, he is definitely on track to become a top prospect in the 2023 NHL Draft.
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the WHL held its 2020 Bantam draft lottery to determine the order of their online draft which is scheduled to take place on April 22, 2020. After earning the first overall pick in the draft, Pats GM John Paddock made it clear who the team would choose on the 22nd.
“We will be selecting him first. I would have said this regardless but the exceptional status made it even more obvious to everybody. There’s no secret with this.”
“He’ll be a Regina Pat, that’s for sure.”
Pats to pick first overall in 2020 WHL Bantam Draft!— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) March 25, 2020
Details here: https://t.co/egdbEQ9v23#JoinTheRegiment pic.twitter.com/8zONlogVEk
For Paddock and the Pats, Bedard would probably be their best choice at one. Not only does he have generational talent, but its something that the Regina Pats could have in their organization for years to come.