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Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades players on NHL watch list

Pats Connor Bedard and Sam Oremba, and Blades Tanner Molendyk and Yegor Sidorov earned spots on the NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Preliminary Players to Watch’ List for the 2023 National Hockey League Draft.
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Two Regina Pats and a pair of Saskatoon Blades earned spots on the NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Preliminary Players to Watch’ List.

SASKATOON, REGINA — Two Regina Pats and a pair of Saskatoon Blades earned spots on the NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Preliminary Players to Watch’ List for the 2023 National Hockey League Draft.

Not surprisingly, Pats standout Connor Bedard figured prominently on the list. Projected by many to the draft’s top pick, the 17-year-old forward was among the seven Western Hockey League players to receive a grade forecasting them as a potential first round pick. Pats teammate Sam Oremba and Blades Tanner Molendyk and Yegor Sidorov also were identified as possible draft picks.

Forty-three WHL players made the list. Twenty-one of the major junior league’s 22 teams were represented. The list included a letter rating. Players, such as Bedard, with an “A” rating are projected first round picks. A “B” rating would mean the player is expected to be picked in the second or third round. “C”-rated players are candidates for the fourth, fifth or sixth rounds. Some athletes received “LV’ grades, which meant they have received limited viewing due to injury.

As of Sunday, Bedard paced the WHL with 29 points and 13 goals in 15 games. Now in his third WHL season, North Vancouver’s Bedard was the first player to be granted “exceptional player status” and compete in the league as a 15-year-old.

Molendyk, a defenceman, earned a “B” rating. The McBride, B.C. product has five assists in 12 games.

Oremba, a Pats forward, received a “C” rating. The Regina product was traded home earlier this season from the Seattle Thunderbirds. The 17-year-old has a goal and four points in 12 games split between the Regina and Seattle franchises.

Also receiving a “C” rating was Sidorov, a Blades right winger. Hailing from Vitebsk, Belarus, the 18-year-olld is in his second Saskatoon season. Sidorov has seven goals and 11 points in five games.

Joining Oremba among the Saskatchewan products in the WHL who were rated are:


  • Riley Heidt; Saskatoon, Sask.; Prince George Cougars; Centre
  • Brayden Yager; Saskatoon, Sask.; Moose Jaw Warriors; Centre


  • Caden Price; Saskatoon, Sask.; Kelowna Rockets; Defence
  • Kalan Lind; Shaunavon, Sask.; Red Deer Rebels; Left Wing


  • Noah Chadwick; Saskatoon, Sask.; Lethbridge Hurricanes; Defence
  • Dylan Ernst; Weyburn, Sask.; Kamloops Blazers; Goalie
  • Kalem Parkerl Clavet, Sask.; Victoria Royals; Defence
  • Ben Riche; Bethune, Sask.; Moose Jaw Warriors; Centre


Regina Pats

Over the weekend, American WHL teams visited Regina for the first time since the 2018-2019 campaign.

The Everett Silvertips slipped by the Pats for a 3-2 victory on Saturday night. Jesse Heslop staked the visiting Silvertips to a 1-0 lead in the first period. Borya Valis and Bedard scored in the second period – with a goal by Everett’s Jackson Berezowski sandwiched in between – to make a 2-2 tie by the second intermission. Bedard’s marker came on the powerplay. Austin Roest scored the game winner in the third period.

Drew Sim stopped 21 shots for Regina. Everett’s Braden Holt had 27 saves.

The Pats pummeled the Tri-Ciy Americans, 7-3, on Sunday. Regina outscored their visitors from Washington state, 4-1, in the first period. The Pats scored three times in the second session – including a Bedard powerplay goal and a Tye Spencer shorthanded marker - to take a 7-1 lead. The Americans scored twice in the final period.

Bedard led the way for Regina with two goals and three assists for five points. Cole Dubinsky also recorded three assists. Bedard, Spencer, Valis, Easton Armstrong, Tanner Howe, and Layton Feist did the scoring for Regina. Jordan Gavin, Parker Bell and Tyson Greenway had Tri-City’s goals. Matthew Kieper made 28 saves. Tomas Suchanek started and made nine saves on 15 shots for Tri-City before giving way to Nick Avakyan, who had 14 saves on 15 shots.

Before tangling with the U.S. squads, the Pats fell Oct. 26 to Moose Jaw at home. The contest had been slated for the previous Sunday but was postponed due to poor weather. The Warriors came out hot and took advantage of Pats’ penalties. Jagger Firkus and Brayden Yager both scored on first period powerplays. In the second session, Alexander Suzdalev got a powerplay marker of his own. However, the Pats were unable to tie the game.

Drew Sim made 20 saves on 22 shots for Regina. Moose Jaw goalie Connor Ungar had 19 saves.

The Pats’ five game homestand continues this week with game number four – playing the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.


Saskatoon Blades

The Blades went 1-1 on the road last week.

Tyler Parr powered the Blades to a 2-1 victory over Medicine Hat on the road on Friday. After two scoreless periods, Parr lit the lamp twice in the third on powerplays. Tyler MacKenzie scored for Medicine Hat with the man advantage in the final six seconds of the period to create the final score. Austin Elliott stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced for Saskatoon. The Tigers’ Evan May had 29 saves.

The Blades fell 2-1 on the road in Lethbridge on Saturday. The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 first period led with goals by Jett Jones and Tyson Zimmer, on the powerplay. Lukas Hansen scored for the Blades in the second session, but the Saskatoon squad was unable to tie the game. Ethan Chadwick made 26 saves in the loss. Harrison Meneghin made 29 saves for Lethbridge.

The Blades return to Saskatoon to host the Tri-Cities on Wednesday and the Silvertips on Friday. The team hits the road to play in Brandon on Saturday.