NHL has issued a statement on Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard

May 24, 2024  (2:46 PM)

Bedard with his back to the camera
Photo credit: Newsweek

But upon returning to the Blackhawks organization, Bedard believes that improvement is a mandate for himself and the team.

"We obviously wish for more success as a group, but that's what we're trying to grow and become better every year," Bedard said during the 2024 IIHF World Championship, where he is playing for Canada. "I thought we took some steps to that along the year.


"I don't think I was overly happy personally too. We're players. We're trying to win every game. We're not thinking about the process or anything like that. We're going out and trying to win every night. That's how we see it and that's our approach to every game."

Bedard is the consensus winner for the Calder Trophy for the 2023-2024 regular NHL season. Despite the Blackhawks missing the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, finishing 46 points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for a wildcard spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Bedard's determination remains evident.
The team has to improve, as the Hawks were 23-53-6 in the Central Division, and Bedard's passion was visible throughout the season, even as the team endured numerous losses.
"He's a special player," Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones said. "I think what separates him maybe is his maturity. He's so passionate about the game and he loves the game so much. He wants to do well and you can see at times this year when the team wasn't doing well, he was getting frustrated. An 18-year-old coming in scoring 22 goals ... he was really all the offense at times during games. His release is one of the best in the league already."

The 18-year-old center led all NHL rookies in goals with 22 and points with 61, while tying for the lead in assists with 39. Bedard, like former Blackhawk Artemi Panarin, led the Blackhawks in scoring this season.
Like Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy in 2015-2016, Bedard is the current favorite for the award.
"He's obviously a very driven player," said Tavares, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. "Extremely talented. Deserves all the recognition that he's getting. I just love the way he carries himself. He reminds me a lot of [Sidney Crosby] in how he deals with people and how he is around the locker room. Just extremely passionate about the game and just loves the game. It's definitely on his mind 24/7, which is awesome to see.

"It's just great to get to know him away from the rink and certain things, and to be around him. He's definitely a sponge. You can tell he just wants to take things all in and learn and get better. He's just scratching the surface.

"I think he's driven to be a difference-maker and help his team win. As a player, that's what you always try to do, and someone with his skill set and that much belief in himself and ability, wants to go out there, influence the game as best he can, and do what's necessary to win."

Currently, Bedard is focusing on helping Team Canada win and has helped push Team Canada to the semifinals, notching 7 points (5 G, 2 A).
But when he returns to Chicago, his focus is more on the team game and helping the Blackhawks gain a playoff spot next season.
"Just keep growing together," Bedard said. "We've got a good young core. Experience is big. Growing up together. This year was frustrating but we learned a lot. I think we're kind of at the bottom right now. Just keep building, keep getting better, and eventually be a really good team in the league. That's our goal of course.

"It's fun to have that young group and keep building."
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NHL has issued a statement on Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard

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