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Blackhawks' Connor Bedard sees the positives in all the attention he gets

Bedard appreciates the responsibilities that come with being the No. 1 overall pick and chooses to see the positives in it

Connor Bedard throws out first pitch at Cubs game.
Connor Bedard has been under a microscope since he was a kid, and the Blackhawks' No. 1 overall pick sees the positives in all the attention he gets.

Chicago Blackhawks development camp came to an end on Thursday, and although there was no on-ice portion, all the attention was still on Connor Bedard.

His official introduction to Chicago — along with the rest of the 2023 NHL Draft class — was on Friday in a press-conference setting at Fifth Third Arena. He spoke to the media the next day as well, and then again on Thursday for the final day. He's the new face of the franchise and these are the types of obligations that respectively come with it.

But Bedard isn't a stranger to the attention. He's been dealing with it since he was a kid and has a remarkable sense of perspective for a 17-year-old.

On Thursday, Bedard was asked what he enjoyed the most from some of the activities at camp. He could have said the Cubs game, where he threw out the first pitch and took in a night at Wrigley Field. He could have said the comedy show at Second City. He could have said the boxing or cooking classes with his teammates. 

He chose a different answer.

"I liked the clinic we did with the kids yesterday," said Bedard, referring to the ball hockey event with the Jordan Boys And Girls Club. "It was a lot of fun. We played a little floor hockey and got to talk to them and see their excitement when we came. It was pretty cool."

Bedard has such a strong head on his shoulders that he'll have no problem handling the spotlight in Chicago. He's choosing to look at the positives that come with it.

"You know you have an impact on a lot of kids and a lot of people in the world," Bedard said. "I look at it more as it’s an honor to be able to impact kids or people or maybe get someone to try hockey, get someone to start loving the game as much as I do. Just try to look at that as a positive and just try to be the best person I can be."

Having said all that, sometimes it's easy to forget that Bedard is still just a teenager because he carries himself like a seasoned veteran. He appreciates the duties that come with being the No. 1 overall pick and the attention that comes with being a potential franchise-changing player, but Bedard tries to keep his feet on the ground as much as possible.

"I’m a normal person in the end," Bedard said smiling. "That’s something — you have a little more noise around you or whatever — people may forget that a little bit. I’m a human being, I’m still a 17-year-old kid. There are responsibilities that come along with the noise and attention and stuff, and I’m aware of that, but in the room, I’m just one of the guys, in life and with my family. I’m a normal person."

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