Regina Pats’ Connor Bedard selected first overall by the Chicago Blackhawks

Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard (98) lines up prior to WHL playoff hockey action against the Saskatoon Blades in Saskatoon, Sask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Heywood Yu. HCY

“With the first pick in the 2023 NHL draft, the Chicago Blackhawks select…Connor Bedard.”

It’s official. One of the biggest hockey prospects of all time will be hitting the ice in Chicago.

At the 2023 NHL Draft, Regina Pats captain and forward Connor Bedard was announced as the first overall pick.

“This is incredible,” Bedard said just moments after being drafted. “Being here with my family is a dream come true.”

Those in the sports world nearly unanimously believed Bedard would be selected first overall in the draft, and that he was.

“Seeing the logo and feeling it is crazy… I couldn’t be happier,” Bedard said about the Blackhawks. “I can’t wait to get to work.”

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The Regina Pats and World Junior phenom is one of the most discussed prospects since Austin Matthews and Connor McDavid.

And now that the draft is here, the next era for Bedard has arrived.

Bedard will attend Chicago’s training camp in September, where he will compete for a spot on the team.

And even though he is only 17, he is considered one of few players capable of dominating the NHL straight out of the draft.

As the organization says goodbye to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Bedard will be the new face of the franchise. The Blackhawks have already begun shaping the roster to help Bedard by acquiring veterans Taylor Hall (the first pick in the 2010 draft) and Nick Foligno in a trade with Boston this week.

With the attention growing, Bedard’s father Tom, said he has been impressed with how his son has navigated stardom from a young age.

“It’s surprising sometimes with all the different things going on,” Tom Bedard said. “But he seems to handle it pretty well to this point.

“Hopefully that continues.”

Those in Regina celebrated the draft with a Pats watch party at Western Pizza, and with Bedard going first overall, the crowd didn’t have to wait long to cheer.


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