CHICAGO – Any nerves on the ice for Connor Bedard wasn’t evident to Chicago Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson, remarking about the 18-year-old’s calmness whenever he was stickhandling.
“I thought he was good,” Richardson said. “I think he really wanted to score. He reads plays very well–he made an unbelievable pass on the winning goal and we saw a lot of that.”
Bedard netted two assists in Chicago’s 2-1 overtime win to kick off the preseason for the Blackhawks. The second assist was the prettiest of the bunch, finding a wide open Andreas Athanasiou who deposited it into the net for the winner.
A nice little start on a day where the puck was hopping quite a bit.
Bedard Will Learn As The Season Goes
It wasn’t a perfect performance, but c’mon he is after all a rookie. It’s seemingly something that will be forgotten as the generational talent will be one of many to help pull the Blackhawks out of a rebuild and eventually, back into contention.
But there’s always more work to do, and Bedard would admit that as well.
“Like I said, I think I can be a lot better,” Bedard said. “I didn’t think I personally played great. It’s really good to get the win – obviously preseason. Nothing’s better than winning. But I felt good in the systems, which is a good thing. In the D-zone I felt pretty comfortable. But I think I can do a lot better.”
A solid performance in the faceoff circle, playing the entire sheet of the ice, and a pair of assists that gives him two points in a single preseason game. Richardson’s thoughts?
“He was just getting there at the right time to get a stick on a puck,” Richardson said. “I think obviously, reverse psychology works for him. He knows where they’re going to make the plays. And he can get there and defend them as well. And he doesn’t just hang around the red line or blue line, he’ll play a full 200 foot-game.”
It’s a pretty good start to things in Chicago for Connor Bedard, even though it’s not what he maybe would have liked.
The scary part? Imagine his game when it is.