Bedard and Carlsson share bold words for each other before first NHL matchup

Published December 7, 2023 at 5:49 PM

Tonight's game between the top two picks of the 2023 NHL Draft, Connor Bedard and Leo Carlsson, is set to be an exciting matchup. The two 18-year-old centers, selected as the first and second picks, have a budding relationship that started at the pre-draft scouting combine in Buffalo last June and continued during a media event in Las Vegas during the Stanley Cup Final.

While they briefly greeted each other at the Blackhawks' practice facility on Wednesday, their acquaintance is expected to deepen on the ice tonight at the United Center. Despite having different playing styles, Bedard and Carlsson will likely cross paths frequently during the game, potentially even exchanging shoulder bumps.

Bedard has been keeping an eye on Carlsson's performances this season and expressed his excitement about facing him on the ice.

"When he's been in, he's been a difference-maker and a lot of fun to watch. It's exciting to see a player like that,"
said Bedard after Thursday's morning skate.

On the other side, Carlsson is equally enthusiastic about the upcoming battle.

"It's going to be a fun battle. I don't know about extra motivation. I have motivation every game, but it's going to be fun,"
remarked the Swedish center.

Anaheim Ducks coach Greg Cronin acknowledged Bedard's prowess, highlighting his sniper skills, creativity, and offensive instincts. Cronin emphasized the need for awareness when Bedard is on the ice, recognizing him as the NHL's leading rookie scorer. Despite facing the last-place Blackhawks, Cronin stressed a holistic scouting approach against any opponent, acknowledging Bedard's impact and influence on the game.
December 7   |   60 answers
Bedard and Carlsson share bold words for each other before first NHL matchup

Who will win in the #1 vs #2 overall pick matchup tonight?

Bedard4371.7 %
Carlsson1728.3 %
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