Regina, Sask. – The Regina Pats Hockey Club are proud to announce their 2022-23 leadership group, naming Connor Bedard the 81st captain in team history.
Joining Bedard in the leadership group are defenceman Luke Bateman, forward Cole Dubinsky and forward Braxton Whitehead as alternate captains.
“It’s an exciting day for everyone as we start a new season,” Regina Pats GM and Head Coach John Paddock said. “We had a leadership change, losing two key guys last year with Logan Nijhoff and Ryker Evans gone. In Connor, we could see very early that he sets a good example on and off the ice, as well as in his preparation, wanting to win, and that he was going to be a captain.”
Bedard, 17, becomes the youngest captain in Pats history (17 years old, two months), surpassing Barret Jackman’s record (17 years old, 11 months), as Jackman was named captain on February 1, 1999 after Gerad Adams was dealt to the Kelowna Rockets. The North Vancouver, B.C. product was an alternate captain last season, becoming the youngest player in Pats history to wear a letter. The 5-foot-10, 185 lb. centre scored 51 goals and 49 assists for 100 points in 62 games last season, finishing fourth in WHL scoring and second in goals.
Bateman, 20, tallied nine points (1G-8A) in 64 games for the Pats last season. The Kamloops, B.C. product was named an alternate captain midway through last season. The 6-foot-6, 224 lb. left-handed defenceman has skated in 147 career games (3G-24A-27PTS) across four seasons split between the Pats and Seattle Thunderbirds. The Pats acquired Bateman prior to the 2021-22 season for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
Dubinsky, 19, wears a letter for the first time in his career. Last season, the Ardrossan, Alta. product set career highs in goals (20), assists (29) and points (49) over 61 contests with the Pats. The 5-foot-11, 192 lb. forward begins his fifth and final season with Regina. Throughout his WHL career, the left-handed shooter has played in 192 games, scoring 92 points (36G-60A).
Whitehead, 18, produced 17 points (10G-7A) across 58 games during his first full season with the Pats last year. The Palmer, AK, product who stands at 5-foot-11, 161 lbs. previously played for the Notre Dame Hounds U18 AAA team and was drafted by the Pats in the third round of the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft.
“These are the guys as coaches that we picked out that we feel have the capable duties of being leaders, like setting a tone, setting a culture and the way we want to do things on the ice and off the ice. They lead by example and they’re the kind of guys who we believe can show that.”
The Regina Pats home opener is tomorrow against the Moose Jaw Warriors inside the Brandt Centre. The pre-party begins at 5:00 p.m. with puck drop set for 7:00 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive FREE popcorn! All attendees will also be able to purchase $2 hot dogs, plus take advantage of the 2-for-1 Happy Hour Special (draught beer) from doors open (5:00 p.m.) until puck drop at 7:00 p.m. For more details on the home opener, including the pre-party, CLICK HERE.