Connor Bedard

Connor Bedard trying to ‘enjoy' process, not get ahead of self before 2023 NHL Draft

Bedard is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in 2023, but he's focused on trying to enjoy the draft process

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — All signs point to the Blackhawks taking Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick in 2023, which — in all likelihood — will be made official on June 28 in Nashville. No surprise there.

Even though his future NHL home is expected to be Chicago, Bedard isn't trying to get ahead of himself. Sure, he might envision what Draft Day could be like for him, but he's more-so trying to enjoy the process, because he only gets to go through it once.

"This is our dreams and stuff," Bedard said on Friday during his media availability at the NHL Scouting Combine. "All of this, we've got to take in and enjoy it. Obviously you want to see what happens and what not but for me, I'm just trying to enjoy everything that goes along with it."

The attention has been on Bedard for years, whether it be when he became the first player in Western Hockey League history to be granted exceptional status or when he shined the brightest on the World Junior stage at only 17 years old. He's exceeded expectations at seemingly every level, and has handled the spotlight that comes with it with relative ease.

Friday's press conference showed yet again how incredibly mature Bedard is for his age.

"I think just kind of taking things day by day," Bedard said. "I'm focused on what's important and what I can control with my own team and my own play, of course. You don't really think about that stuff. There's some extra interviews and attention and what not, but for me, I'm just staying focused on what I need to be focused on and trying to become a better player and person, so that's kind of how I handle it."

Bedard has officially met with the Blackhawks, who hold the No. 1 overall selection. He said he had good conversations with them this week and that it would be a "huge honor" if Chicago took him.

"It'd be awesome," Bedard said. "The history with that organization and that city with sports would be unbelievable. We'll see what happens."

Pretty soon, Bedard's NHL dream will come true.

"It’s always the goal ever since you’re a kid and you first touch a hockey stick," Bedard said. "That’s the best players in the world, best league in the world. You watch it and grow up kind of being a fan of it.

"For me, I think all the guys here, if they ask them, they’ve all dreamed of playing in the NHL. It’s always been the main goal. As young as I can remember, that’s always been kind of the dream, for sure."

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