Top of the lottery prospects: Connor Bedard maintains his blistering pace

The 17-year-old is a cheat code come to life.

Top of the lottery prospects: Connor Bedard maintains his blistering pace
Source: Regina Pats (Keith Hershmiller)

In the three games since we last checked in on Connor Bedard all he’s done is continue to score — putting up seven goals and and three assists while taking 27 shots.

In the Regina Pats last contest — a 6-5 overtime loss to the Red Deer Rebels — he scored a goal and added two assists. He has 13 multi-goal games this season (in 35 WHL games played) — and of those 13, he has eight two-goal games, four hat tricks and one four-goal explosion (in his first game back from The World Juniors).

He continues to lead the WHL in goals (43) and points (88), even though he missed 11 games while representing Canada in the WJC. He’s currently 22 points clear of the next highest scorer — Zach Benson of the Winnipeg Ice — even though Benson has played in six more games (Benson is also a consensus top-15 pick in this year’s draft).

Bedard has scored 170 points — including 83 goals — in his last 76 games. He’s currently on a 34-game scoring streak — and the last WHL game in which he was held scoreless was the very first game of the season. There is no proper way to contextualize the numbers he’s putting up as a 17 year-old kid.

Corey Pronman at The Athletic dropped a midseason draft rankings update today. Not only does he have Bedard all alone at the top of his draft board (as the only skater in the Projected Elite NHL Player tier), but this is what he had to say about him:

Coming off one of the best individual world juniors ever by a player, there is no doubt who leads this draft class. Bedard is a potential franchise-changing No. 1 prospect. His skill and shot are legit game-breaking attributes. His ability to beat defenders one-on-one is among the best I’ve ever seen by a 17-year-old, and the pace at which he displays that elite skill is going to allow him to execute those types of skilled plays in the NHL. Bedard is a highly imaginative puckhandler and a very creative passer. That, combined with the fact his wrist shot is a top-tier NHL weapon from anywhere in the offensive zone, makes him a projected nightmare for NHL coaches to stop on the power play.

Adding him to the Chicago Blackhawks next season would not only change the entire trajectory of the franchise, but it could single-handedly speed up the rebuild process by a matter of years.