Connor Bedard caps off WHL rookie season with emotional OT win
REGINA -- Pats forward Connor Bedard closed out his 15-year-old season with an emotional overtime win on Friday night.
The rookie netted two goals, including the overtime winner, in a 2-1 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.
His final game of the season was a sentimental send off for Bedard. On Tuesday, he learned his grandfather Garth died in a motor vehicle accident in B.C.
"He’s definitely who I play for now and will for the rest of my life and it’s a really special game and I know he was watching me," Bedard said.
"His evening was really special. The difficulty that the family's gone through and for him to come out and do that tonight was really, really good," Pats Head Coach Dave Struch said.
The rookie is leaving Regina to join Team Canada's roster for the IIHF U18 world championships. He will return to his home in North Vancouver to self-isolate, before joining the team in Texas.
"Meet new guys like this, and getting to play with some of the top guys in Canada and playing against the top guys in the world, it’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be a lot of fun, that’s why we play to compete against the best," Bedard said.
The rookie finishes his exceptional status season with 1.87 points per game, after registering 12 goals and 16 assists in 15 games. He also leads the Western Hockey League in points.
Although Bedard had a small sample size of games, he is in elite company statistically. He ends the season with the highest points per game of any exceptional status rookie.
Five other players have been allowed to play in the CHL at 15, including NHL stars Connor McDavid, John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad.
The Pats will play through their final stretch of games in the WHL hub without Bedard. Struch said while the team will miss him, it will give other players an opportunity to fill his void on offense.
With files from CTV News Regina's Claire Hanna