Connor Bedard

Watch: Connor Bedard, Nick Foligno melt hearts in hilarious mic'd up moment

Cameras caught an inside look at the close friendship between Connor Bedard and Nick Foligno on Tuesday

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When the Chicago Blackhawks drafted a 17-year-old prodigy with the No. 1 pick of last year's draft, the team's first order of business was to sign a handful of well-respected veterans to show him the way.

General manager Kyle Davidson couldn't have hit a bigger home run in that department than he did with Nick Foligno, who has been an integral part of Connor Bedard's sensational rookie season.

A lot of players in Foligno's position might be apathetic about joining a team nowhere near contention at this stage in their career. A 16-year veteran without a ring is likely thirsting for a Stanley Cup run. Foligno, though, saw it differently. He was was eager to go somewhere where he'd have the opportunity to play more minutes and mentor young stars.

He's done just that. The 36-year-old is averaging 17:50 minutes of ice time — a 5:29 increase from his previous season on the Bruins — along with 33 points and 15 goals. Off the ice, he's been the de-facto captain the Blackhawks hoped, or likely knew, he would be.

His relationship with Bedard has been a joy to watch throughout a season of full of lowlights for the Blackhawks. In Tuesday's game against the Ducks, cameras caught a mic'd up moment between the two that encapsulated just how important Foligno has been to Bedard's transition to the NHL.

"There's so much to teach you and I don't have enough contract time," Foligno told Bedard on the bench. "I'm gonna have to stay in Chicago, like, five more years after I retire."

In January, Foligno signed a two-year contract extension with the Blackhawks that runs through the 2025-26 season.

"The impact Nick has already had on our team in such a short time is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to helping the players around him succeed," Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said shortly after the extension signing. "Hard-working on the ice, the energy he brings every night and his versatility to play in any situation have been tremendous assets. His leadership skills both on and off the ice have been instrumental in what we are building, and we are excited for him continue to push our team forward."

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