The Calgary Hitmen are taking it up another level with the expected arrival of Connor Bedard. Literally.
The Hitmen announced Friday the club would be opening up the second level of seating at Scotiabank Saddledome when Calgary hosts Bedard and the Regina Pats on Wednesday, February 1.
It’s just the second time this season the second level will be available for a Hitmen game, with the first coming during the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss game on December 4 — attended by 16,514 fans.
— Scott MacIntosh (@scottmacintosh4) January 3, 2023
Bedard, the consensus top pick for the 2023 NHL Draft, is coming off a gold medal-winning performance at the World Junior Championship, which also registers as the greatest individual effort by a Canadian in the tournament’s history.
The 17-year-old from North Vancouver, British Columbia led the World Juniors with 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) — the highest total ever registered by a Canadian-born player at the showcase. The previous record for points by a Canadian at a single World Juniors was shared by Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros at 17.
“I don’t want to talk about myself right now. We’re not talking about me. We just [one of] the biggest tournaments in the world. And man I love this group; I love this country.” – Bedard’s post-game comments after winning 🥇
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) January 6, 2023
Overall, Bedard finished nine points ahead of the second-highest scorer, Arizona Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley of Team USA. Cooley had 14 points (seven goals, seven assists).
Unsurprisingly, he was named to the tournament’s all-star team, a top-three player for Canada, and the World Juniors MVP.
Bedard also has 64 points (27 goals, 37 assists) in 28 games for Regina in the Western Hockey League, a pace that projects the draft-eligible forward to hit 133 points (56 goals, 77 assists) in 58 games.
— Logan Horn (@LoganWHorn) February 7, 2022
Bedard, who scored the goal of the year in the WHL against the Hitmen last season, has already played in Calgary once in 2022-23. Nearly 3,300 fans were in attendance on October 2 in a 7-3 Hitmen win against the Pats, with Bedard held to a single assist.
Tickets for the rematch are available at HitmenHockey.com/Tickets.