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CHN Top 10 Prospects Check-In: Connor Bedard is the Real Deal

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Back in the Fall, Chicago Hockey Now ranked the top 10 prospects in the Chicago Blackhawks pipeline. Those rankings had Connor Bedard sitting at the top of the list–while only being in the organization for three months.

It’s evident that he has graduated from the prospect pool but for due diligence, here’s a run through of how things have gone since we last set our rankings.

Connor Bedard
Current Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Stats: 15 Goals; 18 Assists; 33 Points
Drafted: 2023 1st overall by Kyle Davidson

So, How’s It Going?

Very much as expected–outside of the injury that shelved him. Bedard has been everything Blackhawks fans, coaches, and front office executives could have hoped for. Despite that injury, he should still win the Calder Trophy for the league’s best rookie, and he may be heading back a bit earlier than expected from that injury.

Ranking Higher, Lower, Holding, or Graduated?

He’s graduated. Bedard was never going back to Regina and has steadily gotten better as his NHL journey has continued. The kid is all about hockey–whether you’re talking to him, watching him, or interviewing him. The modesty isn’t fake, either. Bedard doesn’t want to talk about himself, and even if a question is framed in a way to try and compliment his own team, he’ll still answer in a way that doesn’t denigrate or demean the other team.

He’s wired differently and when the Blackhawks lucked out in the draft lottery, yes, they hit the jackpot of all jackpots.

Now and Later: Where Does He Fit In the Grand Scheme of Things?

Franchise cornerstone. The challenge won’t be Bedard living up to expectations as much as it will be on Kyle Davidson building correctly around him–which honestly–really shouldn’t concern Blackhawks fans too greatly if you look at the work he’s already done.

The biggest criticism that one could lobby at Bedard is that at times he’s try to do too much and sometimes forces the issue when he should let it be. That comes with the territory–a dominant player who’s done it at the other levels of hockey and seen success while doing so.

It also happens when the roster around you isn’t as strong to help like it should be able to.

The biggest move here is that the Blackhawks have a chance to really build a dominant squad that could–wait for it–surpass the accomplishments that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane pulled off from 2009-2015. There are others on the way that will neatly fit into the lineup and Davidson will then have to go outside the organization to figure out the final pieces to solve the Stanley Cup puzzle.

Bedard, though, is the entire package, and has the opportunity to not only be one of the greatest players in Blackhawks history–but also the NHL, too.

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