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Regina Pats’ Connor Bedard named Western Hockey League’s top rookie for 2020-21

Regina Pats' Connor Bedard has been named rookie of the year after putting up 28 points in just 15 games in the 2020-21 WHL season. Keith Hershmiller / The Canadian Press

Regina Pats’ Connor Bedard has been named the Western Hockey League’s rookie of the year for the 2020-21 season, in announcement made on Wednesday.

Bedard, who was the first ever WHL player granted exceptional status, earned the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy after scoring 12 goals and 16 assists for a total of 28 points to lead all first-year players in scoring.

Read more: Regina Pats’ Connor Bedard takes over league scoring lead in 3-2 win over Moose Jaw Warriors

“Coming into the season, it was a goal of mine to be Rookie of the Year. Being able to win it, especially with all the other rookies that had such great seasons, is really special and exciting,” Bedard said.

“I’m looking forward to the upcoming season, as I can’t wait to get back to Regina with my teammates and finally play in front of our fans, who I’ve heard so much about.”

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Bedard, selected number one in the 2020 WHL draft, tied Pats’ defencemen Ryker Evans for first in team scoring.

When he left to join Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship in Texas about midway through the season, Bedard was leading the league in points and was averaging 1.87 points per game.

Among rookies, Bedard led in goals, points, shots on goal with 70 and power play points with 10.

Read more: Connor Bedard plays last game of WHL season Friday before U18 world championship

“It’s another acknowledgement of who he is and what he’s done to this point in his young career as a person and player, and he’s being rewarded for it,” said Dave Struch, Regina Pats’ head coach.

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“There’s going to be little victories like this throughout his career and they’re all part of his development. This will be one of those things for him to build on.”

Bedard is the sixth Pat to be named WHL rookie of the year, joining Jeff Friesen, Dale Derkatch, Dave Michayluk, Dennis Sobchuk and Ron Garwasiuk.

Click to play video: 'Connor Bedard reflects on his first year with Regina Pats' Connor Bedard reflects on his first year with Regina Pats
Connor Bedard reflects on his first year with Regina Pats – May 21, 2021

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