Connor Bedard will be the first overall pick next Wednesday in Nashville for the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s scored game winning goals on the international stage. He’s won gold at the World Juniors and swept the awards for the CHL.
But what hasn’t he done? Going to a town renowned for its pizza, he’s never had a slice of deep dish pizza. When asked by TSN’s Glenn Schiller if he was a fan of Chicago’s famous style in the pan, he could only chuckle.
“Never tried it,” Bedard said. “So can’t really say.”
Chicagoans will certainly forgive that and be more than happy to serve up a slice–especially if Bedard turns out to be the player he’s projected to be.
Bedard Talks McDavid
Constantly compared to another generational player in Connor McDavid, Bedard spoke about training with him and how it helped him grow his game. The two were together at the 2022 BioSteel NHL Camp along with a number of players.
“I got to train with him a little bit,” Bedard told Schiller. “I think just kind of seeing how he approaches the game and his work ethic and everything off the ice as well. Everyone sees what he does on the ice. He’s incredible.”
Bedard skates into a similar, but different situation than what McDavid experienced when he was drafted by Edmonton first overall in 2015. The Oilers already had a number of first overall picks on the roster, seeking to find the player who would finally help them overcome years of disappointment.
Bedard goes to a Blackhawks team in the middle of full rebuild with their highest picks needing more time to develop. While Kevin Korchinski could be in Chicago sooner rather than later, there are no guarantees for Bedard.
He will play alongside a team that has a handful of home grown players like Lukas Reichel. But it’s expected that general manager Kyle Davidson will work the phones while finding the right players for now–who can help Bedard try to bring the Blackhawks out of the rebuild.
Regardless, the team will be patient in their approach. Davidson has made it known that they will move along in a way that is best for the organization. That timeline will ebb and flow based on a number of factors.
The only remaining question is which famous establishment, be it a Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, or a Gino’s East, will provide Bedard with that first slice of deep dish pizza.