Connor Bedard

Blackhawks officially select Connor Bedard with No. 1 overall pick in 2023 NHL Draft

Bedard becomes the second player in Blackhawks history to be drafted first overall

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NASHVILLE — It's official: The Chicago Blackhawks have selected Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, GM Kyle Davidson announced on stage at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to be with my family and friends and get to hear my name be called and experience that, especially with such a storied organization," Bedard said. "Everything I've heard about the people there has been nothing but positives. Very thankful that the staff, Kyle, Luke, everyone, put their faith in me with that pick."

Bedard is the second player in franchise history to be taken first overall. Patrick Kane, of course, is the other after the Blackhawks drafted him in 2007.

"It’s pretty unbelievable," Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said. "I’m just glad to be through Round 1, have Connor as a Blackhawk.

"Those players that can reach star potential are the hardest boxes and hardest positions to fill when you’re building a team and obviously first overall is a place where you hope you can get that and I feel like we’ve got a player in Connor that has every chance to be that type of player for us."

Bedard, 17, produced a ridiculous 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 games last season for the Regina Pats, which led all Western Hockey League skaters by a considerable margin. He also recorded 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in seven postseason contests.

Earlier in June, Bedard won the Canadian Hockey League's top prospect award, the leading scorer award and the David Branch CHL Player of the Year Award. He's the first player in CHL history to win all three prizes.

The hype train ascended to another level after Bedard lifted Team Canada to a gold medal in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he registered nine goals and 14 assists in seven games. His 23 points in a single tournament set a record among Canadian-born players and ranked fourth in World Junior history.

The list goes on and on, but the Blackhawks can officially say Bedard is their property and what a feeling that must be for the city of Chicago.

"It's incredible," Bedard said. "I can't put it into words. Growing up, obviously that was when they were going on their runs, winning Cups, and I was watching a lot of them. You see the United Center going crazy and all of Chicago getting behind them. Original Six and so much history there. I really can't put it into words and I'm so excited to be part of the organization."

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