The Chicago Blackhawks have selected Regina Pats center Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks won the NHL Draft Lottery back in May and this was pretty much when Bedard’s team was decided. A month or so later and Bedard is officially a Blackhawk. Bedard was the sure-fire pick and is considered one of the best hockey prospects since Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid.
You can click the link below to check out a full scouting report for Chicago’s new top-line center.
We’ll opt not to go over all the accolades and accomplishments Bedard has had up to this point in his career. He’s one of the most accomplished Canadian juniors player of all-time and for Hockey Canada in juniors. Bedard should enter the NHL immediately and be the heavy favorite to win the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year for 2023-24.
Looking at the Blackhawks roster, there’s still a lot of work to do. Think Pittsburgh Penguins after getting Sidney Crosby. Chicago has a few good pieces with D Seth Jones and defensive prospect Kevin Korchinski. Lukas Reichel has some potential as a forward to work with Bedard.
The Blackhawks, for now, will give Bedard some veteran wings, most likely Taylor Hall, who was acquired from the Boston Bruins earlier this week. Tyler Johnson or Andreas Athanasiou could end up on his line to start as well. This rebuild is still a work in progress, but this boosts Chicago’s timeline to around 2-3 seasons before competing for a playoff spot.
The Blackhawks, of course, open the season against Crosby and the Penguins.