by J.T. Toth
Photo of Connor Bedard courtesy of The Hockey Beast.
The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft. The lottery is scheduled for May 8th, so we will have a better idea of where these prospects will be when the Pittsburgh Penguins make their first-round pick.
Name- Connor Bedard
Team- Regina Pats (WHL)
HT/WT- 5’10” 185 lbs.
Home – North Vancouver, Canada
In the NHL world, occasionally, there is a prospect that many claim as a “generational talent.” Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, and of course, Connor McDavid come to mind. Crosby and McDavid have been the faces of the NHL for the past fifteen plus seasons, but there could be a new “Connor” in town.
Connor Bedard is sort of the LeBron James of hockey stars. Since around 11-years-old, Bedard has been looked at as the next superstar and has been scrutinized every season since. The NHL can look forward to years of Connor vs. Connor each time Chicago and Edmonton play each other, and the rivalry should be epic.
Offensively, Bedard is at a level that most professional players could only dream to achieve. Bedard’s wrist shot is a top 2-3 shot in the NHL right now—at 17 years of age. Speed, strength, and accuracy make this a lethal go-to for Bedard. He possesses the speed to go around an opponent and leg strength to go through them. His balance is way ahead of his years, and he will learn to control games the way McDavid does, making his teammates better hockey players.
Check out Bedard’s release in this video as it speaks for itself:
Not only is he a productive offensive player, Bedard can also mix it up and battle for pucks in the corners and down low. He doesn’t shy away from contact. With an endless motor, Bedard never stops and is always looking to make something happen.
For what little downside can be found, Bedard is known as a “coaster” or a “passenger” when it comes to getting back on defense. Bedard always has offense on his mind and will tend to set up above the slot in hopes of the puck finding its way to him. It took Connor McDavid four seasons to find his niche on defense and is now a force in the defensive end. Bedard will, over time, find his place in the defensive end, but with his offensive ability, Chicago will gladly be patient with him.
Transitioning from defense to offense, Bedard is incomparable. His skating ability along with his hockey IQ makes him an unstoppable force. Bedard creates space for his teammates which in turn elevates their games to new levels. Bedard will make you sit on the edge of your seat each time you see him jump on the ice.
Connor Bedard is and will be a generational talent who will help lead the Chicago Blackhawks back to their championship ways. It is tough for Draft 412 to compare him with the other superstars. He’s not as complete as Sidney Crosby, nor as fast as a Connor McDavid. And perhaps Bedard is more of a Mitch Marner type skater with Austin Matthews type shooting ability. In life, death and taxes are guaranteed. Let’s add Chicago taking Connor Bedard first overall to the list of life guarantees.
Round 1- Top pick to Chicago. Guaranteed.
Closeup photo of Connor Bedard.