Connor Bedard, Blackhawks
Photo courtesy of @BROpen_Ice (Twitter)

The Chicago Blackhawks will have the opportunity to rebuild their roster around projected first-overall pick Connor Bedard, one of the best prospects seen in years.

Monday evening saw the Blackhawks earn the top pick for the 2023 NHL Draft and it’s widely expected they will select Bedard, who just finished up a historic season in the WHL with the Regina Pats. The North Vancouver, BC native registered a mind-boggling 143 points in 57 games, including 71 goals and 72 assists.

The Blackhawks were the worst team in the Central Division in 2022-23, finishing with a putrid 26-49-7 record. They traded Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers at the deadline while Jonathan Toews isn’t expected to be back with the team next season, either. Plus, Chicago moved Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat during last year’s draft, pointing to their rebuilding plans.

That means it’s time for a brand new era and what better player to get than Bedard. The 17-year-old isn’t physically imposing quite yet, but he’s an absolute killer on the ice. Bedard set numerous records at the World Juniors in December en route to Canada winning yet another gold in the competition. Bedard led all Canadian junior skaters this season with his phenomenal numbers for the Pats.

This is the second time in franchise history the Blackhawks have landed the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Of course, the first occasion was in 2007, nabbing Kane. He helped lead the organization to three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015. Now, it’s time for Bedard to get this team back to relevancy in the next few years.

The Anaheim Ducks meanwhile were awarded the second overall pick, while the Columbus Blue Jackets will select third in late June.