The Chicago Blackhawks are gearing up for an exciting new era with the recent drafting of Connor Bedard as the first pick in this year’s NHL draft. Alongside Bedard, the Blackhawks have brought in a group of veteran players, including 38-year-old forward Corey Perry, to provide leadership and mentorship to the young talent. Perry, who has played 18 seasons in the NHL, is looking forward to working with Bedard and helping him navigate the challenges of the league.
Perry’s role in mentoring Bedard goes beyond on-ice performance. “It’s not so much for me on the ice, it’s away from the rink, it’s in the dressing room, just being a good teammate,” Perry said. He aims to assist Bedard with day-to-day tasks, ensuring he knows what to do, where to go, and always being on time. Perry’s experience and leadership will be invaluable to Bedard, who is widely regarded as a generational talent and has been compared to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
Bedard, who turns 18 on July 17, had an impressive 71 goals and 72 assists in 57 games for Regina in the WHL last season. He is set to make his NHL debut against Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 10. As Bedard begins his rookie season, Perry will be there to support and protect him. “This league’s not easy,” Perry said during his introductory press conference, adding that he might have to look after the first overall draftee on the ice.
Perry’s own rookie season saw him debut on October 5, 2005, less than three months after Bedard was born. Since then, Perry has had a successful career, winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player in 2010-11 and leading the league with 50 goals. In the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Perry recorded 65 points, missing only one game.
The Blackhawks organization is excited about the potential of this new chapter, with Bedard as the face of the franchise and Perry providing valuable experience and mentorship. As the team prepares for the upcoming season, fans eagerly await the on-ice chemistry between these two talented players and the impact they will have on the Blackhawks’ future success.