Chicago Blackhawks Connor Bedard impresses in NHL preseason debut
(Photo Credit: @NHLBlackhawks/ Twitter)

In a thrilling preseason debut for the Chicago Blackhawks, Connor Bedard showcased his exceptional skills and playmaking abilities. The highly anticipated matchup against the St. Louis Blues on September 28, 2023, left fans and analysts in awe as the 18-year-old center made an immediate impact on the ice.

Bedard’s Stellar Performance

Bedard wasted no time making his presence felt, setting up both Blackhawks goals in a 2-1 overtime victory. Despite facing off against the Blues’ top players, Bedard more than held his own and demonstrated why he is considered one of the most promising prospects in the NHL.

Bedard Stats vs Blues

Stat Value
Assists 2
Shots on goal 5
Face-offs won 10
Face-offs lost 6
Face-off percentage 62.5%
Ice time 21:42

The young star’s first assist came in the second period when he facilitated Chicago’s first goal, drawing the primary assist on a goal by forward Philipp Kurashev. Bedard’s vision and precision passing were on full display as he expertly set up Kurashev to find the back of the net.

Later in the game, Bedard once again showcased his exceptional playmaking ability by setting up forward Andreas Athanasiou for the game-winning goal in overtime. With time winding down and the pressure mounting, Bedard remained calm and composed, delivering a perfectly timed pass that allowed Athanasiou to bury the puck in the back of the net.

While the two assists were nice, Berdard’s best play might have been something that didn’t show up on the scoresheet. During his second-ever Blackhawks preseason shift, Bedard showcased his exceptional skills and playmaking abilities. Bedard gathered the puck, sliced between two Blues players, glided into the offensive zone, deked around a third, and wristed a shot on net. Although the shot didn’t go in, Bedard’s display of skill and hockey sense demonstrated his ability to think the game at a higher level.

Bedard’s High Standards

Despite his impressive performance, Bedard expressed his desire to raise the bar even higher. In a post-game interview, he humbly acknowledged his contributions but emphasized that he has “a lot better than that” coming soon. This level of self-critique and determination is a testament to Bedard’s work ethic and commitment to continuous improvement.

Coach Richardson’s Praise

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson was effusive in his praise for Bedard’s performance. Richardson commended Bedard’s overall play and highlighted his offensive contributions as well as his defensive awareness. The coach was particularly impressed with Bedard’s ability to generate scoring chances while maintaining defensive responsibility.

“Connor was good out there,” Richardson said. “He showed great poise with the puck and made some excellent decisions. He played a complete game and contributed in all areas of the ice.”

Looking Ahead

Bedard’s exceptional preseason debut has undoubtedly raised expectations for what he can achieve during the regular season. As the Blackhawks continue their preparations for the upcoming campaign, fans eagerly anticipate witnessing more of Bedard’s electrifying performances.

With his remarkable skill set and unwavering determination, Connor Bedard is poised to make a significant impact on the Blackhawks’ quest for success this season. As he continues to develop and gain experience at the NHL level, hockey enthusiasts can expect to witness even greater feats from this young phenom.