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Connor Bedard has a world of experience with Team Canada



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Regina Pats star Connor Bedard is about to play in his third world junior hockey championship since December of final yr.

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Connor Bedard is sporting a Workforce Canada sweater for the fourth time inside a calendar yr, however there’s nonetheless a novelty issue.

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“The primary time you place that jersey on at each event, it’s fairly surreal,” mentioned the 17-year-old Regina Pats centre, who’s poised to play within the 2023 world junior hockey championship.

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“You sort of take a step again and it makes you need to thank the individuals who have helped you essentially the most. It’s one of many greatest hockey tournaments on the earth, so it’s thrilling and it’s an honour.”

Bedard was 16 when he debuted on the world juniors in December of 2022. He scored four goals — all in one night time — over two video games earlier than the event was suspended because of a surge within the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

A do-over was held in August, when Canada won the world junior title. It was a part of a busy low season for Bedard, who had captained Workforce Canada on the world under-18 championship whereas enjoying in that event for the second yr in a row.

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Now one other world juniors looms.

“It’s sort of bizarre for the nation to have two of them in 4 months,” Bedard mentioned. “That’s most likely somewhat totally different however, for us, it’s super-exciting.

“Halifax is a reasonably cool spot to have it. It has been bought out for months.”:

A lot of the eye shall be on Bedard, who is predicted to be the primary general choice within the 2023 NHL entry draft. However, as at all times, he’s taking the eye and adulation in stride.

“It’s nonetheless simply hockey,” he mentioned. “I’m enjoying the sport that I really like and enjoying the sport that I’ve been doing for 10 or 11 years now.

“I’m having enjoyable. I get to play in a world juniors, so I don’t take into consideration the opposite stuff an excessive amount of.”

Canada is to start its preliminary-round schedule on Boxing Day in opposition to a Czechian workforce that can embody Pats defenceman Stanislav Svozil, a third-time world junior participant.

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The event is to conclude Jan. 5 — one night time earlier than the Pats are to play host to the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Pats then welcome the Calgary Hitmen on Jan 8.

How quickly does Bedard plan to return to WHL responsibility following the world juniors?

“As quickly as I can,” he replied. “I believe it might be fairly powerful to play on the sixth if I’m flying again. It’s a reasonably lengthy flight.

“If I get again early sufficient, perhaps I can costume, however I don’t see that as being too attainable, so most likely the eighth.”

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