Connor Bedard, a 14-year-old North Vancouver native, obtained status Tuesday after an exam by BC Hockey and Hockey Canada and is eligible to play in the Western League next season.
“BC Hockey would like to congratulate Connor for being announced as the first player in Western Canada to be granted exceptional status in the CHL and WHL,” said BC Hockey chief executive Barry Petrachenko in a statement. “Throughout the assessment process, Connor has shown the enormous potential that he has both mentally and physically to achieve exceptional status.”
Bedard is a five-foot-eight, 165-pound forward who played for the West Vancouver Academy U18 team last season, scoring 43 goals and 84 points in 36 Canadian Sport School Hockey League games . He will be 15 years old in July.
Outstanding player status has been awarded five times in the Ontario League (John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, Sean Day and Shane Wright) and once in the QMJHL (Joe Veleno). According to a WHL statement, status is awarded on the basis of more than on-ice ability and that Bedard’s “hockey skills, academic ability and mental and physical maturity” have all been taken into account in the assessment. .