Pats top prospect Connor Bedard is back home after two months in Sweden. Back to the place where everybody knows his name.
“Chipotle. I’ve had it almost every day (since I returned).”
With his burrito levels returning to normal, Bedard reflected on his two months training with Swedish club HV71. Bedard played with both the U20 and U18 teams in an effort to keep himself sharp while he waits for the WHL season to begin.
“We have four practices just based on skill, which is a lot different in-season,” says Bedard. “We do that in the summer but that was a bit different for me.”
He says in-season practices in Canada are usually more about puck battles and systems.
“I played a few games but unfortunately the season got delayed until January so I came back. It was good learning new things, new skills and that stuff. I think it helped me.”
Bedard had hoped to stay in Sweden until December 3rd but he ended up returning three weeks earlier. Now he waits for the WHL season to begin.
Not having games to play at this time of year is unusual for Bedard. He says he was probably 3 or 4 years old the last time that happened. He’s doing his best at home in Vancouver to keep his skills up.
“I’m on the ice 6-7 times (a week) and then working out 5-6 times, so it’s pretty normal,” he says.
Pats GM John Paddock was able to check in on Bedard during his time in Sweden, thanks to a video link supplied by HV71.
“I watched a good part of his first game and (Head Coach) Dave (Struch) had it after that.
“(We watched) as much as we could probably within different time zones and with doing things here.”
What did Paddock think of Bedard’s performance?
“I saw similar things I saw in his game last year in midget,” the GM says. “The ice surface being bigger made a difference in how the game is played a little bit. I don’t think there was anything real surprising and I was pleased to see the things that he was doing there with some real good hockey players and playing against some real good hockey players.”
The WHL season is slated to start in early January.