The Chicago Blackhawks struck gold last spring. After a terrible regular season saw them have the third worst record in the league, they got a little lucky and won the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery. That gave them the right to make the number one pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
Of course, they selected Regina Pats superstar Connor Bedard with the pick. He was one of the most hyped-up prospects in the history of the sport because of his ability to score goals and make plays.
Bedard is expected to be the best player on the team over the next decade or more. He has the ability to step into the league and make a big impact right away.
That all started for Bedard and the Hawks on Thursday when he made his preseason debut. He took the ice with the Hawks with real NHL players on the other side for the first time. The Hawks welcomed the St. Louis Blues to the United Center for the first time this year.
The Blackhawks saw Connor Bedard make his preseason debut on Thursday.
Bedard stepped onto the ice and looked really good right away. In fact, he made a play early where he did some dancing in the offensive zone only to get a great shot on goal but a save was made.
Later in the game, the Hawks scored their first goal of the preseason. Kevin Korchinski joined the rush and threw one for Connor Bedard to tip on the net. Philipp Kurashev tucked it in and gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Bedard is going to get a lot of assists in his NHL career by people cleaning up his garbage. It was also nice to see Korchinski make things happen as he facilitated the whole play.
Eventually, the Blues got it tied up and that was it for the scoring in regulation. They headed to overtime tied 1-1. You knew Connor Bedard was going to get some good looks in overtime with it being 3 on 3.
Bedard faced some adversity out there in overtime. He had a couple of chances with the puck in the offensive zone early in the shift (he started OT) but he got stuck out there. It ended up being a 1:30 shift for him and he was clearly out of gas when he got off the ice.
Later in overtime, Bedard did what Bedard does. He didn’t end it with an overtime game-winner but he put one on Andreas Athanasiou’s tape and he didn’t miss. The Blackhawks won the game 2-1 and Bedard made the game-winning play.
It only took one preseason game for Bedard to make a positive impact. This is just the beginning. It is going to be so fun to watch him play going forward. This was a great hockey game and even more great times are ahead with him leading the way.