North Vancouver native Connor Bedard has been granted exceptional status to play in the WHL next season as a 15-year-old, the league announced Tuesday.
"BC Hockey would like to congratulate Connor on being announced as the first player from Western Canada to be granted exceptional status in the CHL and WHL," said BC hockey chief executive officer Barry Petrachenko. "Throughout the evaluation process, Connor has displayed the tremendous potential he has both mentally and physically to be able to be granted exceptional status."
Bedard is the first player to earn exceptional status in the WHL. Six other players in CHL history have been given the unique distinction: Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Sean Day, and Shane Wright in the OHL, and Joe Veleno in the QMJHL.
Bedard is a forward listed at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds. He played for West Vancouver Academy’s U18 team in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) this past season, notching 43 goals and 41 assists in 36 games.
The WHL Bantam Draft is set for April 22.
The CHL recently shut down all three of its leagues for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs due to coronavirus concerns.