Connor Bedard has been the topic of conversation in the hockey world for a long time; however, recently his name is taking the hockey world by storm and is the unofficial reason for a lot of teams trying to end up in last place rather than first. For those that haven't heard of Connor Bedard, he is a forward who has played for the Regina Pats (WHL) and for Team Canada. With a quick look at his stats from this year alone, I do not blame coaches for wanting Bedard on their roster.
Speaking of his stats, while playing for Team Canada this year, Bedard became Canada’s all-time leading scorer at the World Juniors. With the 23 points (9 goals and 14 assists) he earned during the 2023 tournament, he was named the tournament’s MVP and top forward. In addition to that, during his 2023 season with the Regina Pat, Bedard led the WHL in points and goals (143 total points and 71 goals) and with 72 assists was tied with Riley Heidt for the lead. During this season, he had the most points and goals per game (2.51 & 1.24) and led shots on goal with a total of 360. Bedard surpassed his previous record and tied for the longest point streak in the WHL with at least one point for 35 games straight. Amazingly, he has achieved all of this at just 17 years old.
Bedard isn’t the only player with amazing stats. There are a lot of amazing players that may be getting overlooked, even with having similar stats to Bedard.
Gabriel “Gabe” Perreault is a forward who has played for USNTDP and Chicago Mission, and is also the son of former NHL player Yanic Perreault and brother of Jacob Perreault of the San Diego Gulls.
As for Perreault’s stats for the year, he had a total of 132 points (53 goals, 79 assists) in USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP) and had 18 total points (five goals, thirteen assists) in the 2023 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. With those 18 points, he was one of the top goal-scorers in the whole tournament. Perreault won the gold with the team and with 132 points for the National Team, he is ahead of NHL players Auston Matthews (127 points) and Jack Hughes’ (116 points) seasons with the National Team. His season was record-breaking and set the program’s new single-season record.
Even with his amazing season, he hasn’t been getting a lot of attention and, until recently, he hasn't even been considered in the first round. For a while he was projected to go as low as 41, but as June is here, we have seen more talk about Perreault and how he has been catching the eye of many teams. As per usual before the draft, there has been much more attention on him. As of late, Perreault has been projected a potential top ten, so we just have to wait and see if with his potential a team will take him early on in the draft.