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Connor Bedard on Development Camp: ‘I loved it’

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Pretty much everything that Connor Bedard could say has been said in the last week. But with the Chicago Blackhawks wrapping up its development camp, it stood out that the love the city and its fans have shown Bedard is appreciated and reciprocated.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Bedard said.  “Getting to come here, I was happy it was kind of right away, get to the city, see everything and obviously meet all the staff, all the players and being here and see the facilities and everything. I loved it and had a lot of fun.”

The 17-year-old has been the focal point of the team for over a week now, and has consistently batted the praise and kudos coming his way.

The modesty isn’t fake, either, as it’s come through dating back to Bedard’s days in junior hockey. The interview on TSN moments after they won gold revealed it, too, where Bedard deflected his legacy and placed the focus back on the team.

Questions about himself are answered quickly. Inquiries about others or the game tend to be longer. Bedard isn’t here to talk about himself. As has been the theme of his career, he’ll let the game do that for him.

Bedard Talks Chicago, Food, and the Roller Hockey League

Prior to even being selected by the Blackhawks, Bedard was asked about Chicago’s cuisine. How did it stack up once he got here?

“The food was even better than I thought,” he admitted.  “I knew it was going to be really good but it was unreal. That was something I was really surprised by for sure.”

As for all the excitement that’s surrounded him, when asked about the ability to go home and decompress, Bedard didn’t want to fast forward too quickly through it all.

“It’s all pretty cool stuff,” Bedard said.  “I don’t want to be wishing that it’s ending or everything, kind of only get that draft moment once. Haven’t thought about that. Just getting back and get back on the ice and obviously stay in the gym and stuff.”

He’ll also keep playing in the roller hockey league with his pals Andrew Cristall and Kent Johnson.

“Yeah, we’ve got a really good group playing,” he admitted.  “I’ve played since I was 5, 6 years old, so I’ve always had a lot of fun. You’re just out there, you’re with your buddies. It’s still competitive but you’re enjoying yourself, you’re trying new plays, being creative. It’s something I love to do every summer for the past 10, 12 years.”

And his thoughts on Chicago, a place he said he hasn’t seen since he was much younger.

“It was really cool,” Bedard said. “We went on that (architecture) boat tour thing, just looking around and seeing everything was awesome. It’s a really nice city.”

A Pause Before the Season Begins

Once Bedard signs his entry-level deal, the real speculation will begin. It’s basically slim to none that he goes back to Regina, and since he’ll not be eligible to play in Rockford per CHL-NHL agreements, there’s only one logical place for him.

But it’s hardly something Bedard is concerned with–that or the attention it brings. For him, it’s boils down to doing what he’s always done-be on the ice and give everything he has knowing full well that he’s been given an incredible opportunity.

Simply put, it’s Connor Bedard being Connor Bedard.

“I think I’m pretty much at the rink and then going home most of the time,” he said. “So there’s nothing too crazy that I’m doing.  I think there’s the media and you know you have an impact on a lot of kids and a lot of people in the world.

I look at it more as it’s an honor to be able to impact kids or people or maybe get someone to try hockey, get someone to start loving the game as much as I do. Just try to look at that as a positive and just try to be the best person I can be.”

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