Bedard, 18-year-old exceptional ice hockey talent in the NHL

As of: November 17, 2023 17:42

At twelve years old he was already there. nhl-Ice professionals, he was already considered the “future of ice hockey” when he was a young teenager. Connor Bedard has been playing in the North American professional league NHL for a few weeks and shows that the hype surrounding him was not in vain.

He is only 1.78 meters tall and could therefore go unnoticed by the crowd. But as soon as Connor Bedard steps on the ice, the 18-year-old stands out Chicago Blackhawks out of here. That skating technique… and especially those hands. His wrist movements are so fast that opponents, even the most seasoned NHL pros, don’t know if he will pass or shoot the puck.

“He’s incredibly talented. It’s fun to train with him and be on the ice with him. Then you see how hard he works and why he’s so good.” says Lukas Reichel in an interview with Sportschau. The German international is Bedard’s teammate in Chicago, three years older and has already played almost 50 NHL games. It’s usually the newcomer to the league who follows the lead of a pro like Reichel. But in Bedard’s case nothing is normal.

Compared to Crosby and McDavid when he was 13 years old.

Bedard had just turned twelve when he was first at his home in Vancouver with NHL players like Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers) during their summer ice training. “I was still the annoying kid back then.”recalls Bédard.
Since he was 14 he trained every day. That’s when Bedard got his first impression of the intensity and speed at which the NHL plays.

Published in November 2018 “The hockey news” an article about him titled: “Meet the future of hockey, 13-year-old Connor Bedard.” Never before had the prestigious specialized magazine portrayed such a young player. Bedard was described as the “next phenomenon” and advisers, it was said, were already “knocking on his door”. And yes, he’s even been compared to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid: welcome to Canada.

With exceptional status in the junior league

Now, it must be said that every year there are countless great talents in the homeland of ice hockey. But this Connor Bedard was not just one of the many talents of that time. No, he was he Talent. By far the best of all, of all the years.

And that’s why at age 15 he was allowed to play in the national junior league with an exemption from the Canadian Ice Hockey Association. such “exceptional condition” Until now it had only been granted to six other young people. Normally the minimum age for youth leagues is 16 years old.

71 goals, 72 assists in 57 games

Bedard played for them Regina Pats in it Western Hockey League, when he was 15 years old, he sometimes met players who were already 20 years old. However, he played outstandingly. Last season he scored 71 goals and set up 72 more goals, in just 57 games.

Surely it would have been humane if this Connor Bedard had been nervous about all the headlines, the enormous media interest or the public attention. If at some point he wouldn’t have been able to withstand the pressure of becoming the next predicted Canadian hockey superstar. But the forward finds everything. “super cool and very interesting.”

Chicago lottery win

That Bedard was selected at the end of June first in the talent distribution was as predictable as Bayern Munich winning the German soccer championship. The Chicago Blackhawks had the first pick of the 32 teams: it was equivalent to winning the lottery. Just twelve hours after the draft, the traditional club reported income of five million dollars from the sale of season tickets for the new season.

The fact that such a talent is now playing for a club as famous as the Blackhawks, in a media market as large as Chicago, is also a victory for the league and the television networks. In the season opener on October 10, the Blackhawks faced the Pittsburgh Penguins about its captain Sidney Crosby.

More symbolic Generational change

The media encouraged the duel “Sid vs the Kid” and spoke of a kind of symbolic generational change. Crosby was considered as exceptional a talent in 2005 as Bedard is now. But Crosby, who beat Pittsburgh three times stanley mugvictory and led Canada to Olympic gold twice, is now 36 years old.

Bedard’s debut was not only a success for the newcomer, who earned his first NHL point with an assist in a 4-2 win, but also for “ESPN“. The television channel had an average of 1.43 million viewers. Never before had so many fans watched an “ESPN” game in the NHL points round.

Reichel: “Sometimes I think, ‘poor boy'”

A day later, Bedard scored his first NHL goal in Boston. About 25 American and Canadian media representatives then crowded around him in the locker room. Lukas Reichel watched everything from a few meters away. “Sometimes I think: ‘poor boy’. A lot of press, a lot of interviews for him. But he’s doing very well.”he said.

Connor Bedard has played 14 games. He has surprised and delighted many, he is the team’s top scorer with nine goals and is also the team’s top scorer with 13 points. And, as people sometimes forget because of his actions, he is only 18 years old.

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