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Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

With the recent NHL Draft selection wrapped up many are pondering if it’s rigged by the way it all unfolds having some wanting a change, but that’s out of our paygrade.

Speculation is that he’ll be the first overall selection went to the Chicago Blackhawks who are elated by the chance to get the young upcoming star from North Vancouver.

Records are meant to be broken as each decade we see players elevate their status to new heights  going back to Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Merio Lemiuux and Wayne Gretzky.

Regina Pats Captain Bedard will make his mark in the record books and to no surprise he was just awarded the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season presented by Kia.

The following is the press release we just received from the Western Hockey League is made up of 22 member Clubs having 17 located in Western Canada and the additional five (5) in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

 Enjoy the read and Congratulations to Connor

The 2023 NHL Draft prospect, ranked first-overall among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting, led the League in goals (71) and points (143) during the 2022-23 WHL Regular Season, while also finishing tied for the League lead in assists (72) and game-winning goals (11).

This season, Bedard became the first WHL skater to record 140 or more points in a single regular season in 27 years; the product of North Vancouver, B.C. also enjoyed a 35-game point streak from September 24, 2022 through February 1, 2023, recording a total of 90 points during that span.

“It is such an honour to win this award, and I am so proud to play in the WHL with all the amazing players, and the players that have won this award before me,” said Bedard.

“I would not have been able to do this without my teammates, coaches, training staff and of course, the amazing Regina Pats fans. I would like to give a huge thank you to my family for the sacrifices they have made in helping me get to this point.”

“As a proud partner of the CHL and presenting sponsor of the Memorial Cup, Kia Canada is honored to congratulate Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats, winner of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL Player of the Year,” said Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing for Kia Canada. “Connor’s accomplishments this season were truly inspiring and we look forward to seeing his bright future in hockey continue for years to come.”

Four Broncos Memorial Trophy Finalists

B.C. Division – Logan Stankoven, Kamloops Blazers

Central Division – Kai Uchacz, Red Deer Rebels

U.S. Division – Jackson Berezowski, Everett Silvertips

Bedard becomes the sixth Regina Pat to have been named WHL Player of the Year. In addition to Bedard, the Pats have previously been recognized in 2016-17 (Sam Steel), 2009-10 (Jordan Eberle), 2002-03 (Josh Harding), 1979-80 (Doug Wickenheiser) and 1972-73 (Dennis Sobchuk).

He is the first NHL Draft-eligible player to be named WHL Player of the Year since Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay ICE won the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy during the 2013-14 season.

The Four Broncos Memorial Trophy is the most prestigious award of the WHL and recognizes the player whose performance is deemed to be the most outstanding during the WHL Regular Season.

On December 30, 1986, the Swift Current Broncos were involved in a tragic bus crash while traveling to a game in Regina. Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff lost their lives as a result of the crash. The Broncos have posthumously retired the numbers of all four players.

The Four Broncos Memorial Trophy serves as a constant memory in honour of the four players to this day.

The 2023 WHL Awards were voted upon by WHL General Managers and members of the media.

Winners of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy (since 2003)

2022-23           Connor Bedard, Regina Pats

2021-22           Logan Stankoven, Kamloops Blazers*

2020-21           Peyton Krebs, Winnipeg ICE

2019-20           Adam Beckman, Spokane Chiefs

2018-19           Joachim Blichfeld, Portland Winterhawks

2017-18           Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips

2016-17           Sam Steel, Regina Pats

2015-16           Dryden Hunt, Moose Jaw Warriors

2014-15           Oliver Bjorkstrand, Portland Winterhawks

2013-14           Sam Reinhart, Kootenay ICE

2012-13           Adam Lowry, Swift Current Broncos

2011-12           Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City Americans*

2010-11           Darcy Kuemper, Red Deer Rebels

2009-10           Jordan Eberle, Regina Pats*

2008-09           Brett Sonne, Calgary Hitmen

2007-08           Karl Alzner, Calgary Hitmen

2006-07           Kris Russell, Medicine Hat Tigers

2005-06           Justin Pogge, Calgary Hitmen

2004-05           Eric Fehr, Brandon Wheat Kings

2003-04           Cam Ward, Red Deer Rebels

2002-03           Josh Harding, Regina Pats

* – also selected as Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year


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