National Hockey League

2023 NHL prospects Bedard, Fantilli et al. making noise three years early

By now, you’ve probably heard that Connor Bedard, an offensive dynamo from North Vancouver, was granted exceptional status by Hockey B.C., which makes him eligible to play in the Western League next season as a 15-year-old.

To give you an idea of what kind of potential Bedard has, consider that both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mathew Barzal applied for exceptional status and were denied in the home province.

Playing with and against players up to three years older, Bedard led all scorers in the Midget Prep Division of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League this season with 43 goals and 84 points in just 36 games.

The Fantilli family has been upfront with the Battalion about its plans and has already told the team that it is not playing draft games to end up at a pre-determined destination.

The Fantillis have told the Battalion that if Adam decides to go the OHL route, he would be happy to report to North Bay to start the 2021-22 season, but there are no guarantees.

About the Author Ken Campbell, The Hockey News' senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star.

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