Connor Bedard

1-on-1 with Blackhawks No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard

Bedard chats with Blackhawks Insider Charlie Roumeliotis after being drafted with the first overall selection

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NASHVILLE — The Chicago Blackhawks made it official on Wednesday, taking Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. It's a move that signals a new era in franchise history.

Immediately after being selected, I had a quick 1-on-1 with Bedard to talk about what it was like to finally put on the Blackhawks sweater, the thought of playing for a historic franchise, the meaning behind his No. 98, and more.

Here is the full transcript from the exclusive interview, which has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity:

First off, congratulations, Connor. How does it feel to finally put on that sweater?

It's unbelievable. To look down and see it on me is a dream come true. Growing up, watching them go on their runs and everything and getting to be a part of that now is incredible. It's such a special organization, so I couldn't be more honored and excited.

I know you were young when those runs were happening, but what are your memories from those Stanley Cup championships? 

Yeah, I remember it being a lot pretty quickly. Getting to watch Kane and Toews, those guys, they had so many great players and teams, and you get to watch and see the United Center going crazy every night was pretty cool. I get to be a part of that now, it's special.

Is it cool that you're joining Patrick Kane as the only other player in franchise history to be taken first overall?

I think once you kind of get there, you're all part of the team and everybody, but to have your name with someone like him is really special. And for them, Kyle and the rest of the organization to trust me with that pick is a great feeling and it's really, really awesome. 

What can you say about the fan support from Chicago? They started printing your jerseys when they won the lottery.

It's pretty crazy to see the support they have for their team. Even just in the last hour and a bit when I walk around the rink and stuff, it's really cool. They love their sports, of course, and I'm really happy to be there and to kind of hear that and see that, it's hard to put into words right now.

What's the meaning behind number 98? 

I think I was five or six years old and no one had it in the NHL at the time and it was a high number, kind of attracted me to that, but yeah, it just kind of stuck with me. 

Last one. I see that you have a token here today. Can you share the meaning of that? 

I got this thing, we all got it from my grandfather when he passed and it's something to remember him by and to have him here with me is special. It's kind of a little thing I keep.

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