A Vernon hockey player has had a front-row seat into the Connor Bedard Show for a month now.
Steel Quiring – who helped his hometown Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs win the 2016 Coca Cola Classic Vernon Winter Carnival Peewee Hockey Tournament – is now teammates with Bedard on the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats.
Bedard is projected to be the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft. He helped Canada win gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships in January, and currently leads the WHL in scoring with 44 goals and 46 assists for 90 points, 21 points ahead of Zach Benson of the Winnipeg Ice.
More than 19,000 fans crammed into Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome Wednesday, Feb. 1, to see Bedard and the Pats edge the hometown Hitmen 6-5 in a shootout. Quiring was held off the scoresheet.
Quiring, 6-foot-2, 189-pounds, is now with his fourth WHL organization.
The 20-year-old fifth-year forward started his WHL tenure with the Kelowna Rockets before being traded in January, 2022 to the Calgary Hitmen. Calgary dealt Quiring to the Everett Silvertips on Sept. 30, 2022, and he was in Washington state until he was sent to the Pats on Jan. 10, 2023 for a 2026 fourth-round draft pick.
“We needed another forward based on our numbers and we like that he can play centre or wing,” said Regina Pats general manager and head coach John Paddock on the Pats’ website. “He is a big body with some experience, and it seemed like a good fit.”
In seven games with Regina, Quiring has one goal. He has four goals and four assists on the season.
In 126 career regular-season contests, Quiring has 18-19-37.