One of the greatest seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) history was recognized on Wednesday with Regina Pats captain Connor Bedard winning the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Player of the Year.
Bedard also claimed the Bob Clarke Trophy as the WHL’s leading scorer for the 2022-23 regular season.
The 17-year-old ended the 2022-23 season leading the WHL in in goals (71), points (143), shots on goal (360), points per game (2.51) and goals per game (1.24) in 57 regular-season games.
“It is such an honour to win this award, and I am so proud to play in the WHL with all the amazing players, and the players that have won this award before me,” said Bedard in a news release from the team. “I would not have been able to do this without my teammates, coaches, training staff and of course, the amazing Regina Pats fans. I would like to give a huge thank you to my family for the sacrifices they have made in helping me get to this point.”
After he failed to register a point in the team’s season opening contest against the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Pats captain would go on to register a point in his next 35 games with Regina.
In seven playoff games, the 17-year-old recorded 20 points (10G-10A) in seven games as the Pats were eliminated by the Saskatoon Blades in the first round of the WHL Playoffs.
During the holiday season, Bedard all players at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship with 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) and was named the tournament’s top forward and most valuable player, helping Canada win a second straight gold medal.
The last time a member of the Regina Pats won the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy was Sam Steel in 2016-17.
The 2023 WHL Awards were voted upon by WHL General Managers and members of the media
Earlier this week, the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2023 National Hockey League (NHL) Draft Lottery and are expected to select Bedard with the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft which takes place on June 28 in Nashville.