Connor Bedard

Who is Connor Bedard? 10 things to know about Blackhawks' projected No. 1 pick


NASHVILLE — It's officially 2023 NHL Draft day, and the Chicago Blackhawks hold the No. 1 overall pick for just the second time in franchise history. It's no secret GM Kyle Davidson is expected to announce Connor Bedard as the selection once he hits the stage at Bridgestone Arena.

Here are 10 things to know about Bedard, who will be a Blackhawk by the end of the night:

  1. Bedard was the first player in Western Hockey League history — and seventh in Canadian Hockey League history — to be granted exceptional status, which allowed him to play in the major junior ranks before the required age of 16.
  2. Bedard registered 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 games last season for the Regina Pats. For reference, the next-closest player was Chase Wheatcroft at 107 points. Wheatcroft appeared in 11 more games than Bedard and was 20 years old. Bedard is 17.
  3. In June, Bedard won the CHL'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.
  4. Bedard set a new Canadian record at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship for most points in a single tournament with 23 (nine goals, 14 assists) in only seven games. He helped lead his country to a gold medal.
  5. Bedard's official height and weight at the NHL Scouting Combine: 5' 9.75" and 185 pounds.
  6. Bedard has worn the No. 98 since he was five-years-old. If you've already bought a No. 98 Blackhawks Bedard jersey, I think you're safe. 
  7. Bedard's childhood idol is Sidney Crosby. Coincidentally, the Blackhawks open the 2023-24 season in Pittsburgh on Oct. 10. Bedard's first NHL shift very well could be against Crosby.
  8. Bedard supposedly uses a 70 stick flex; I've heard it might even be in the 60s. That means it's extremely whippy. He has one of the best shots in the entire world and he's only 17.
  9. When Bedard was 12 years old, he broke his right wrist and couldn't use it for two months. He used that time to strengthen his left hand (the top hand on his stick) and it's why his shot has become so lethal. 
  10. And finally, Bedard will join Patrick Kane as the only two players in franchise history to be taken first overall. Bedard has honored Kane a couple this year. First, with the heartbreaker celebration to send Team Canada to the semifinals and then with the raced stripes in his hair for Regina's playoff run. This was before the Blackhawks even won the lottery. How fitting.

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