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Connor Bedard invited to Team Canada’s world junior selection camp

Click to play video: 'Connor Bedard invited to Team Canada’s world junior selection camp' Connor Bedard invited to Team Canada’s world junior selection camp
WATCH: Regina Pats' Connor Bedard and head coach John Paddock react to Bedard being added to Team Canada's world junior selection camp – Dec 1, 2021

Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats has been invited to Team Canada’s world junior selection camp.

Born in 2005, Bedard is the youngest among the 35-player roster.

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“Growing up as a kid you watch that tournament, but to just get the opportunity to go there and work my hardest to make the team is really special and a cool feeling,” Bedard said.

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Regina Pats open training camp with extra attention – Sep 3, 2021

Bedard, now 16, made history in the Western Hockey League (WHL) at 15 years old when he became the first player to be granted exceptional status, meaning he was allowed to play a full season in the league despite his age.

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

Typically, 15-year-olds can only play a maximum of five games unless their midget team’s season has ended.

He was named the WHL’s top rookie for the 2020-21 season, putting up 28 points in 15 games.

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The North Vancouver, B.C., native has totalled 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 21 games this season. He also leads the team in goals and the WHL in shots on net (109).

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North Vancouver teenager on path to super stardom – Apr 20, 2020

Regina Pats GM and head coach John Paddock said the selection is an honour for both the organization and Bedard.

“That’s a big loss to our team, but it’s something we expected to happen whether it was this year or not,” Paddock said in the release.

“He’s one of, I think, a half-dozen guys in the (WHL) who can turn the game around with one play.”

Bedard played for Team Canada at the IIHF U18 world championship this past summer, where he was tied for second in tournament scoring with 14 points and third in goals with seven in seven games.

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Read more: Hockey Canada announces world junior hockey team selection camp roster

Canada’s selection camp runs Dec. 9 to Dec. 12 with a team announcement expected Dec. 13.

The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held at Rogers Place in Edmonton and the Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer, Alta., from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2022.

Daemon Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kaiden Guhle, who played for the Prince Albert Raiders before being traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday, also made the camp roster. No Saskatchewan-born players were named to the list.

— with files from Jonathan Guignard

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