Regina Pats’ Connor Bedard returns from Sweden, eager to begin WHL career

Click to play video: '15-year-old Connor Bedard shows Swedish touch' 15-year-old Connor Bedard shows Swedish touch
WATCH: Fifteen-year-old North Vancouver hockey phenom Connor Bedard was supposed to be starting his WHL career this year, but with COVID-19 throwing a wrench into those plans, Bedard ended up training in Sweden for two months. – Dec 3, 2020

With the 2020-21 Western Hockey League season still up in the air due to COVID-19, one thing is certain and it’s that the Regina Pats‘ top prospect will be ready to go when the puck drops.

Connor Bedard is back on Canadian soil after spending two months in Sweden working on his game.

Read more: Regina Pats sign exceptional status player Connor Bedard ahead of WHL Draft

The North Vancouver, B.C., native is the first player to get exceptional status in the WHL allowing him to play an entire season as a 15-year-old.

“It was a lot like my everyday life here. You get up, you go to the rink, you work out and skate,” Bedard said on his experience with Sweden’s HV71 junior program.

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“It was pretty cool getting to train (and) obviously a bit different than what we do here. Being in a different country, hearing them speak the language, it was a pretty cool experience.”

Bedard practised with both the under-18 and under-20 teams and even managed to play a few games while in Sweden.

Read more: Regina Pats have first overall pick at Western Hockey League Bantam Draft

“I played a few games, but unfortunately the season there got delayed until January, so I came back,” Bedard said.

“But, like I said, it was good learning new things, new skills and that stuff, I think, helped me.”

Bedard played in five games overseas and registered six points. He returned home about two weeks ago when the season was cut short due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

Although he enjoyed his time in Europe, Bedard said he’s eager to make his WHL debut.

“I wish I could be in Regina playing right now, but that’s not the case so you just have to adapt and figure out the best way to improve your game,” Bedard said.

If the WHL season doesn’t happen, Bedard said he would think about going back to Sweden if the opportunity arises.

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