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How good will he be? Wild prospect Riley Heidt lights WHL on fire

Heidt is putting up numbers better than past WHL stars.

Minnesota Wild prospect Riley Heidt has taken the Western Hockey League by storm.

Heidt, whom the Wild selected with the last pick of the second round (No. 64) of this year’s NHL draft, tallied 97 points in 68 games (1.43 points per game) in the 2022-23 season, tying for the league lead in assists (72) while leading the WHL with 39 power-play assists.

His assist marks were both single-season franchise records for the Prince George Cougars, and Heidt’s points per game average was a mark good for 14th in the WHL.

And the 18-year-old center is only taking it to another level in 2023.

The 5-foot-11, 182-pound Heidt currently leads the WHL with 53 points (14 goals, 39 assists) and has remained a force on the power play, also leading the league with 19 power-play assists.

His efforts have helped vault the Prince George Cougars to the top spot in the Western Conference standings with a 21-7-0 record.

That puts Heidt at a 1.89 points per game clip.

And that has him in pretty incredible company. According to Hockey Wilderness, that puts Heidt in the mix with some notable NHLers in their U19 WHL careers, including Sam Reinhart (1.75), Brayden Schenn (1.68), Leon Draisaitl (1.64), Mark Stone (1.49), Brayden Point (1.45), Brendan Gallagher (1.38) and Nino Niederreiter (1.27).

It's also not far off from Connor Bedard's incredible 2022-23 WHL season. The Chicago Blackhawks rookie phenom averaged 2.51 points per game that year.

But despite his dominance in the WHL, Heidt was not among the 30 players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, who will compete for a spot for Team Canada for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Canada’s U20 head Peter Anholt, who helped lead the roster selection, seemingly acknowledged some of the omissions from the roster, saying in Tuesday's release “there are always difficult decisions to narrow it down” due to Canada’s “incredible talent pool of players.”

Heidt will have one year of eligibility remaining for the World Junior Championship.

In the meantime, he'll look to keep the Prince George Cougars at the top of the standings with his standout play, and excite Wild fans in the process.