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Connor Bedard wins NHL Rookie of the Year

Chicago Blackhawks 18-year-old forward Connor Bedard was awarded the 2023-2024 NHL Calder Memorial Trophy in June. 

According to the Hawks, Bedard led all rookies in goals, assists and points during the 2023-24 campaign. Bedard became the first Blackhawk rookie to win the award since Artemi Panarin (2015-16) and 10th player in franchise history to receive the honor. He joins honorees Patrick Kane (2007-08), Ed Belfour (1990-91), Steve Larmer (1982-83), Tony Esposito (1969-70), Bill Hay (1959-60), Ed Litzenberger (1954-55), Cully Dahlstrom (1937-38) and Mike Karakas (1935-36). 

Bedard is the youngest player in franchise history to win the Calder Trophy, besting Patrick Kane (19 years, 139 days) in 2007-08.

Minnesota’s Brock Faber and New Jersey’s Luke Hughes were among the top three vote-getters for the award, along with Bedard.

At only 18, Bedard led all NHL rookies with 22 goals and 61 points in 68 games during the 2023-24 campaign, while also sharing first with 39 assists. Among Blackhawks’ skaters, Bedard led the club in assists and points, while his 22 goals also shared first among all team skaters. 

The young phenom’s 39 assists rank sixth all time among Chicago rookies, while his 61 points rank seventh. Additionally, Bedard is the first player in franchise history and third player in NHL history to lead his team in points at the age of 18 (Sidney Crosby in 2005-06 and Steve Yzerman in 1983-84). 

The Hawks said the North Vancouver, B.C., native reached the 50-point mark in just 52 games, hitting the milestone in the fewest games played by a rookie in franchise history. He also became the seventh rookie in Blackhawks’ history to reach the 60-point plateau, while doing so in 65 games, which matched the third fastest in club history.

Bedard was selected for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game, becoming the youngest player to be named in NHL history. 

Prior to winning the Trophy, Bedard was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month three times during the 2023-24 season (November, December and March), becoming the first player in franchise history and first NHLer since Connor McDavid in 2015-16 to earn the honor three times in his rookie campaign, added the Hawks. 

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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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