Connor Bedard scores goal with lethal release vs Oilers
(Screenshot/ ESPN)

In a highly anticipated showdown between two of hockey’s brightest young stars, 18-year-old phenom Connor Bedard opened the scoring just 3:21 into the contest, wiring an absolute laser past Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead.

Bedard took a stretch pass from defenseman Alex Vlasic, split between two Oilers defenders, and released a lightning-quick wrister from the left circle that handcuffed Skinner.

Check out the clip below of Bedard’s goal vs the Oilers:


“That Bedard release – just lethal,” said Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse after the first period. “He got that puck off his stick in the blink of an eye.”

The sublime strike marked Bedard’s 12th goal of his electrifying rookie campaign. The 18-year-old continues to sit atop the NHL rookie scoring charts with 24 points, showcasing shift after shift the sublime skillset that made him the undisputed number one pick in the 2023 draft.

“I just tried to get the shot off as quick as I could,” said a modest Bedard in the second intermission.

Replays showed Bedard’s puck barely graze his stick blade before hitting twine, a testament to the youngster’s rare release and precision.

While the Blackhawks ultimately trail 4-1 through two periods, Bedard relished measuring himself against superstar Connor McDavid tonight.

“It’s been fun to be out there against him,” said Bedard. “He’s the best in the world for a reason.”

With 12 goals through his first 28 NHL games, Bedard is on pace to become the first teenager to hit the 30-goal mark since Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine in 2016-17.

If he maintains his current scoring clip, Bedard appears destined to follow Laine, Matthews, and other recent top picks by capturing the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.