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Canada’s Connor Bedard honored as IIHF’s first male player of the year

Connor Bedard

Jan 25, 2023; Langley, BC, CANADA; CHL Top Prospects team red forward Connor Bedard (98) skates during the second period in the 2023 CHL Top Prospects ice hockey game at Langley Events Centre. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

Presumptive No. 1 NHL draft pick Connor Bedard has been honored as the International Ice Hockey Federation’s first male player of the year.

The IIHF announced Monday Bedard finished first in voting among a panel of representatives from 22 countries, well ahead of Latvian goalie Arturs Silovs, Swiss forward Andres Ambuhl and German defenseman Moritz Seider.

Bedard helped Canada win the past two world junior championships, played last summer and this past winter, before turning 18. He was MVP of the most recent tournament after leading all players in scoring with 23 points in seven games.

The Chicago Blackhawks recently won the lottery for the chance to select Bedard with the first pick and are expected to do so at the draft in Nashville next week. Bedard swept the Canadian Hockey League awards, becoming the first voted player of the year, top prospect and top scorer following his 143-point season with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.

Hilary Knight was voted the IIHF’s first female player of the year for captaining the U.S. to gold at this year’s women’s world championship.