The young hockey prodigy, Connor Bedard, was ecstatic to receive a text message from his childhood idol, Sidney Crosby, after being picked in the 2023 NHL Draft.
“I got a text from Sidney Crosby so that was pretty cool,” Bedard said Friday. “He was my favorite player growing up. He’s one of the best to ever do it, so I was pretty excited there”.
"I got a text from Sidney Crosby, that was really cool."
Connor Bedard got a text from his favourite player after getting drafted. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/MuDMYUwlIb
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 1, 2023
The contents of this message remain private, but this gesture from Crosby, who was himself the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, speaks volumes about the high regard in which Bedard is held by his peers and mentors.
The Chicago Blackhawks selected Bedard with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, which took place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. This pick came after Bedard impressed at the NHL Draft Combine with his exceptional performance.
Bedard led the WHL in goals (71), points (143), and shots on goal (360) in 57 regular-season games. His performance also won him the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospect, Top Scorer, and David Branch Player of the Year awards.
Connor Bedard becomes the first-ever CHL player to win Top Player, Top Prospect & Top Scorer 😳👏
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) June 3, 2023
Crosby has had a stellar career since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has played 1,190 games, scoring 550 goals and assisting 952 times, leading to a total of 1,502 points in his career. In the 2022-2023 regular season, Crosby played 82 games, scored 33 goals, and made 60 assists, accumulating a total of 93 points.
As Bedard begins his journey in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, he will no doubt remember the support and recognition he received from one of hockey’s greatest players. His performance in the upcoming season will be eagerly anticipated, with many looking forward to seeing how he will fare against seasoned players like Crosby.
Hockey fans won’t have to wait long to see Bedard vs Crosby, as the two Canadian stars will faceoff in Chicago’s 2023-24 season opener on October 10th at PPG Paints Arena. Based on the aforementioned text message, there already appears to be camaraderie and mutual respect between the two Canadian players, despite their age difference.
Despite now being rivals in the NHL, both Bedard and Crosby have previously represented Team Canada in international play. It’s exciting to imagine what these two could potentially achieve together on the international stage in the future.