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5 Things Blackhawks Fans Need to Know About Connor Bedard

Published May 12, 2023 at 4:37 PM

Chicago Blackhawks fans, get ready to learn all about your future superstar, Connor Bedard. Here are five key facts you need to know about this rising talent:

1. Youthful Brilliance:

At just 17 years old, Bedard is already making waves in the hockey world. It's hard to believe that the top prize of the draft lottery is still too young to buy a lottery ticket in the U.S. Born on July 17, 2005, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Bedard's potential knows no bounds.

2. World Juniors Triumph:

Bedard has been in the spotlight since his early teens, and he's already made significant contributions to his home country. In the 2023 IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, he captivated audiences and led Team Canada to a gold medal. The 5-foot-10 center showcased his immense talent, scoring nine goals in seven games, including a breathtaking overtime winner against Slovakia in the quarterfinals. It's no wonder he walked away with the tournament's MVP honors.

3. Regina Pats Captain:

Currently, Bedard is the captain of the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League (WHL), a major junior hockey league spanning western Canada and the northwestern United States. After impressive performances in previous seasons, Bedard raised the bar in 2022-23. In 57 regular-season games, he racked up a staggering 71 goals and 72 assists, ending the season with a remarkable plus-39 rating. Although the Pats fell to the Saskatoon Blades in a hard-fought seven-game, first-round playoff series, Bedard still managed to contribute 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) to his team's efforts.

4. Goal-Scoring Phenomenon:

Bedard's scoring prowess over the past year is nothing short of extraordinary. Across 83 games, which included World Juniors, WHL matches, and the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, he found the back of the net an astonishing 100 times (kudos to The Athletic's Scott Wheeler for these mind-boggling stats). With 46 of those goals coming from his lethal slap shot, Bedard's overall offensive skills, including his wrist shot, stickhandling, and skating abilities, make him a complete scoring machine.

5. Almost Ignoring "The Great One":

Even hockey legends like Wayne Gretzky recognize Bedard's exceptional talent. In 2020, Bedard received special permission to play major junior hockey a year early, which caught the attention of Gretzky himself. When the iconic Gretzky reached out to congratulate him, Bedard nearly sent the call to voicemail, unsure of the random number from California. Eventually answering, Bedard found himself speechless and starstruck. It was undoubtedly a memorable moment for the young star. Interestingly, there's another connection between Bedard and Gretzky: their jersey numbers. While Gretzky famously wore No. 99, Bedard rocks No. 98 in the WHL, making him only the seventh player in NHL history to sport that number should he keep it.

Blackhawks fans, prepare yourselves for the arrival of this exceptional talent. Connor Bedard's future looks incredibly promising, and his potential impact on the team is something to eagerly anticipate.

Source:NBC Sports Chicago
May 12   |   1 answers
5 Things Blackhawks Fans Need to Know About Connor Bedard

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