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Blackhawks to select Connor Bedard with No. 1 NHL Draft pick

Photo caption: Connor Bedard

With the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NHL Draft in June, the Chicago Blackhawks will select hockey phenom, Canadian junior ice hockey center and captain of the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL), Connor Bedard.

Known as a 17-year-old generational talent, Bedard was selected by the Regina Pats first overall in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2020 as the first WHL player of exceptional status, and won the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie player in his debut season, biographical notes say.

His bio also states in his third season in the WHL, he won the Bob Clarke Trophy as the League’s leading scorer and was given the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as its most valuable player.

Competing internationally for Canada, Bedard won championships with the Canadian national under-18 team in 2021 and with the Canadian national junior team in 2022 and 2023.

His 2023 tournament performance set several national and international points records, and led to his being named the event’s most valuable player.

Bedard scored an amazing 71 goals in 57 games in the 2022-23 WHL season.

Born July 17, 2005, he grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, with parents Tom and Melanie, and sister. Connor’s great-great uncle James played 22 NHL games for Chicago between 1949–51.

In 2018, Bedard emerged as a young hockey prospect, being named “The Future of Hockey” in an article by The Hockey News.

Bedard will be the face of the Blackhawks.

profile image of joseph phillips
Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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