History has been made in the Western Hockey League. Hockey Canada has approved Connor Bedard’s request to be the first-ever player to gain exceptional status in the WHL, joining an elite list of players in the Canadian Hockey League to be granted the honour.

From BC Hockey’s press release, “Exceptional player status is granted to a player whose qualities not only on the ice, but as a person, deem the player deserving of the rare privilege of participating in the CHL at an early age. Consideration of such status is only granted to a player whose ongoing development is more likely to be significantly enhanced by playing in the CHL as a 15-year-old than by participating in his designated age division next season.”

The process takes into account the player’s skill, academic ability, and both physical and mental maturity. Bedard did well in all of these areas, according to BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer Barry Petrachenko.