HALIFAX | We probably don’t yet realize the full extent of what Connor Bedard is accomplishing at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
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The 17-year-old forward is literally rewriting the Canadian record books at this tournament and could even equal some of the tournament’s all-time records by the end of the competition.
One thing is for sure, his next goal will be historic on multiple levels.
Before taking on Slovakia in Monday night’s quarterfinals, Bedard holds the record for most career goals by a Canadian player at the World Juniors at 14, level on points with Jordan Eberle. He also holds the record for most career points by a Canadian-born hockey player at 31, tied with Eric Lindros.
The latter, moreover, did not hesitate to wish Bedard to break his mark on Twitter on Sunday.
“Good year! Don’t just break the record Connor Bedard, smash it! Win the tournament. Go to Canada! #MondialJunior,” he wrote on Twitter.
Happy New Year! Don’t just break Connor Bedard’s record, beat him! Win the tournament. Go to Canada! #WorldJuniors
— Eric Lindros (@88EricLindros) January 1, 2023
“It’s pretty cool knowing he knows who I am,” Bedard responded afterwards. It’s incredible. It’s amazing to know that he wants me to break the record and I’ve got a few games left so we’ll see if I can do it. »
And those aren’t the only brands within reach. With 18 points in the tournament so far, his next among Canadian players would make him in singles tournament points for the first time ever. He currently shares the brand with Dale McCourt and Brayden Schenn. He also became the most prolific Under-18 player in World Juniors history in a given tournament, another mark he currently shares with Jaromir Jagr, who also scored 18 points in 7 games in 1990.
No freebies for Slovaks
The Slovaks will be the first team to try to stop the talented No. 1’s momentum. 16 Canadian, Monday night.
In the only game between the teams, a preseason game that Canada won 6-1, Bedard not only failed to score but also had four minor penalties in the game.
“We could see that his mental state wasn’t very good,” Slovakia striker Robert Baco told TSN. The latter meets Connor Bedard in the WHL, who wears the colors of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“We know each other well and have had a couple of balancing act in the past. I’m ready for him and I’ll keep an eye on him. He’s a very skilled player who handles the puck well and has a good feel for the game, we have to play him physically, that’s the only way to stop him. »
The same goes for defender Simon Nemec, who should be on a mission to stop Bedard on Monday night.
“He’s a good player but the physical game isn’t for him. »
Records within reach of Connor Bedard
Most career goals for a Canadian player
Previous record: 14 (Jordan Eberle)
Most career points for a Canadian player
Previous record: 31 (Eric Lindros)
Most points in a single tournament for a Canadian player
Previous record: 18 (Dale McCourt, Brayden Schenn)
Most points for a player under 18 in a single tournament
Previous record: 18 (Jaromir Jagr)
Most assists in a single tournament by a Canadian player
Previous record: 12 (Jason Allison)