NHL News: Connor Bedard Named Recipient of E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence

Posted by R.G. Mason

NASHVILLE (June 26, 2023) – Connor Bedard, the top-ranked North American skater for the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft™, is the 2022-23 recipient of the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, the National Hockey League announced today.


First awarded in 2015, the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence is presented annually by the League to a candidate who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness, and athleticism.


Born in North Vancouver, B.C., the center competed for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League in 2022-23, producing a 35-game point streak (44-46—90) to ultimately lead the league in goals (71), points (143), and points-per-game (2.51). Bedard became the first player in Canadian Hockey League history to sweep the Player of the Year, Top Prospect and Top Scorer awards in a single season and set single-tournament Team Canada records in assists (14) and points (23) at the 2023 World Junior Championship en route to being named tournament MVP and winning a gold medal.


“Connor Bedard exemplifies all the qualities recognized with the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “The motivation, commitment, and discipline that he displayed throughout this season with the WHL Regina Pats and with his gold-medal, record-breaking performances at the 2022 and 2023 World Junior Championships were truly outstanding feats of excellence. Connor is projected to be in that rare category of being able to influence the success of a franchise and is a worthy recipient of this award.”


Bedard was presented with an engraved NHL crystal by Sportsnet studio host David Amber during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.


The 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft will take place over two days. Round 1 will be held on Wednesday, June 28 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN, SN, TVAS), followed by Rounds 2-7 on Thursday, June 29 (11 a.m. ET, NHLN, SN, TVAS).


E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence History

After many years of coaching and scouting at various levels of hockey, McGuire joined the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau in 2002 and assumed day-to-day responsibility for the department in 2005. McGuire spearheaded an operation that provided scouting and evaluation of draft-eligible players to NHL Member Clubs. He led a team of eight full-time and 15 part-time scouts throughout North America. Just as he brought innovation to the coaching profession throughout his career, McGuire was responsible for several advancements in the area of scouting during his nine years at the League, including the development of a new scouting technology system that brought the “art” of scouting to a whole new level. He was instrumental in raising both the effectiveness and profile of the League’s annual scouting combine. McGuire lost his short, but courageous battle with cancer in April 2011.


Past Recipients

2021-22: Lane Hutson

2020-21: William Eklund

2019-20: Zayde Wisdom

2018-19: Brett Leason

2017-18: 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos

2016-17: Nico Hischier

2015-16: Neil Doef

2014-15: Travis Konecny


Posted in NHL