The preposterous hype surrounding Connor Bedard is more than warranted and the 16-year-old Regina Pats phenom submitted an early goal-of-the-year candidate against the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday.
Bedard — who is widely expected to be a top-two pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and dominated during the COVID-shortened 2022 World Juniors — showed off his full arsenal of skills on a ridiculous goal to get the Pats on the board.
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) February 6, 2022
Trailing 2-0 during the second period, Bedard corralled a loose puck just past centre ice and barrelled down on Hitmen defender Matthew Sutter, the last man back. Sutter simply had no chance. Bedard took three strides with the puck, then pulled off a picture-perfect toe drag that sent Sutter sprawling.
With just Hitmen goalie Brayden Peters to beat, Bedard continued full speed ahead, put the puck between his legs and roofed it into the top corner, thoroughly embarrassing his opponents. They’re just teenagers after all, but Bedard broke Sutter’s ankles and the shared looks of dejection are palpable.
The hockey world predictably went nuts over the jaw-dropping tally.
Connor Bedard with the TOE DRAG into the BETWEEN-THE-LEGS stunner... absolutely unreal stuff! pic.twitter.com/cxm33dKh6Y
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) February 7, 2022
Connor Bedard had the GALL to pull off this move.
It's so sick I'm almost mad. But am actually so very happy pic.twitter.com/PUSTNrTgg8
Connor Bedard out here using my favorite NHL 22 moves in real life pic.twitter.com/iH68UzaxDd
— Danny Shirey (@DannyShireyPGH) February 6, 2022
There’s no shame in getting made to look silly by Bedard anyways. Arguably the most promising prospect in hockey, alongside fellow 2023 draft prospect Matvei Michkov, Bedard was regularly the best player on the ice against best-on-best international competition at the World Juniors before the tournament was canceled. His ability to stickhandle through traffic without breaking stride is one of his several elite qualities.
This is just one of many Bedard highlights that are beginning to pile up as he quickly becomes a household name in Canada. The North Vancouver native has scored 22 goals and 42 points through 32 WHL games this season.
For Sutter and Peters, they’re just another set of names on Bedard’s never-ending reel.
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