Wayne Gretzky still plays a big role in the world of hockey. Even if you don’t care deeply about the Edmonton Oilers, it’s impossible to ignore the great one’s offensive accomplishments. For most NHL fans, chatting with the living legend would be a dream come true. However, Connor Bedard has already ticked that off the list.
For the NHL prospect, however, the interaction went awry almost before it even started. In fact, Bedard almost refused to answer the phone when No. 99 called.
Let’s go back in time and take a look.
Wayne Gretzky reached out to Connor Bedard in 2020, but he almost got sent to voicemail
While we’ve all seen many prospects fall short of the hype — Oilers fans will remember Nail Yakupov, for example — Connor Bedard seems primed to make a legitimate impact at the NHL level. That reality has already earned him a personal gesture from Wayne Gretzky.
In 2020, the teen applied for — and received — special status so he could play major junior hockey a year early. It’s a great honor and the big guy seems to have noticed.
“After I got special status, he called,” Bedard told Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post. There was a catch, however.
“It was a random number from California, so I didn’t know whether to pick it up or not,” the teenager admitted. And even when he answered, he wasn’t quite sure who was on the other end of the line. “I thought at first it was a dude pranking me, but it sounded like him,” Bedard added.
Eventually, however, the North Vancouver native found that he was actually the NHL’s all-time best dog at the other end of the line. Their conversation wasn’t very long, but it was still memorable.
“The call didn’t take long. It was just a ‘congratulations’ and a ‘good luck,'” Bedard explained, noting that he stuttered and could barely speak. “It was a short conversation, but anytime you can talk to him, it’s very special.”
So far, Bedard hasn’t needed Gretzky’s luck too much. Although the center entered the WHL as an exceptional talent, it made an incredible impression on the Regina Pats. During his first season with the club, he scored 28 points in 15 games and reached the 100-point plateau during his second appearance. The center’s third major-junior season is still underway, but he’s already improved himself with 142 points (70 goals and 72 assists) in 55 games. Add in a historic World Junior Championships performance, and it’s easy to see why he was selected as the surefire top pick of the 2023 NHL draft.
If the young Canadian continues on his current path, he will have many more encounters with the biggest names in hockey. However, that reality doesn’t change the fact that getting a call from the Great One was pretty awesome.
“It said a lot about him that he did something like that,” Bedard said. “For me, growing up as a hockey fan, of course I never saw him because I’m too young, but he’s the epitome of greatness. It’s something you really don’t forget and it’s definitely very special.”
#Connor #Bedard #received #congratulations #Wayne #Gretzky #call
More From Shayari.Page