Connor Bedard's Cousin Gavin McKenna has my Attention

The Next-Next-Next-Next One?
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice - Game 2
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice - Game 2 / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages

With Connor Bedard's current goal pace, whirlwind media attention (guilty as charged), and history of accolades it's easy to identify his skill traits (from age 14 to now) as generational. Simply put the hockey world has known about his exploits on the ice for the last 3-4 years before he even heard his name called by an NHL franchise.

Much like Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, Connor Bedard was viewed as one of the "next ones" which is a reference to the best player of all-time Wayne Gretzky (known as the Great One). With Connor Bedard being what I would call the 3rd "next one" could we quickly see yet another truly special talent enter the league so quickly?

Enter Connor Bedard's cousin Gavin Mckenna. A 2026 draft eligible forward currently playing in the WHL for Medicine Hat at 15 years old. Not only is he playing in the WHL at such an early age, but he is showing truly elite talent producing 8 goals in his last 10 matchups. Overall in the WHL McKenna has 39 points in just 31 games. The play of late though as he nears his 16th birthday has shown a stronger frame with improved edge work in tight traffic.

In a recent game that started with Medicine Hat down 3-0 McKenna netted a hat trick including the OT winner with a quick wrister quite reminiscent of his cousins shot. At 5-11, 165 and a frame that looks like it will fill out to at least an average NHL forward's size McKenna could be in line to make at least some franchises thinking about adjusting their future spending schedules to be in position for a higher percentage to grab the potential franchise player.

While James Hagens and Macklin Celebrini may have something to say about the best prospect not in the NHL at the moment there is no denying that Gavin McKenna is on his way into the Connor Bedard realm of media coverage. When players are widely identified this early into their development it is noticed (in today's world of instant information) by all... and I'm certainly taking notes.