Slapshot! Connor Bedard Shoots Into the NHL

Blackhawks fans are excited to see what the team can accomplish with Connor Bedard.

Nicole Yeary

Blackhawks’ fans are excited to see what the team can accomplish with Connor Bedard.

After climbing the ranks in Canadian hockey, 18-year-old Connor Bedard is ready to crush his first season in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Blackhawks have been a staple of the Chicago spirit since 1926, and since then, they have successfully claimed six Stanley Cup championships. However, in the last three years, the Blackhawks have fallen to the bottom of their division rankings. In an attempt to make a change, the team traded Patrick Kane, their former best player, to gain a fresh start.

In the 2023 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks claimed the first pick by a twist of fate. When given the first pick, the Blackhawks unsurprisingly selected the highest-ranked player in the draft: Connor Bedard. Bedard, a center forward, is regarded as one of the best players of his generation.

Hailing from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Bedard was born in 2005 and began playing hockey at age 5. Previously, Bedard played for West Van Academy Prep and the Western Hockey League team, the Regina Pats. He has 134 goals in his five-year career.

Bedard is currently predicted to score approximately 75 goals in the 2023-24 season. While certainly a bold prediction, it’s not an impossible one, as his predecessor, Kane, scored 72 goals in his rookie season. Should Bedard achieve 75 goals this season, it would place him at 36th in the rankings of highest point scores in an NHL player’s rookie season.

Students at Latin are excited to have this new player possibly lead the city to victory. “He’s a hyped-up prospect, so his expectations are high,” freshman Peter Flosi said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see how he does.”

Freshman Ashym Patel said, “I think that it’s a really exciting time to be a Blackhawks fan—to have this once-in-a-lifetime player come in.”

Bedard brought Blackhawks fans new hope and a strengthened team to root for. All fans can do now is sit back and hope for a good season.

After the first win and game of the season, freshman Elliot Keske said, “He had some great shifts last night, so we are really hopeful to see what he can do!”