Before the start of the 2023-24 season, all eyes were on Connor Bedard. The young sensation mesmerized the minor league with his impressive skills and became the No.1 draft pick. Since making his debut, the rookie has continued his impressive run of form. This has led to him being applauded by many including NHL great Wayne Gretzky.
Regarded as the “Great One“, Gretzky was stunned by the excellence of Bedard. Following a slow start from the former Regina Pats captain, he has taken the league by storm. The NHL Hall of Famer has now made a bold claim that he might be even better than originally thought.
Gretzky who now works as an analyst for TNT regarding NHL came into the defence of the youngster and said:
"He had to go into Toronto, into Montreal, into Colorado, and he got Boston twice and Vegas twice. Those are good hockey clubs. Those are hard buildings to play in, and I thought he held his own. And you can see him getting more and more confident."
The 62-year-old would later signal how the young players are determined to make a mark and he (Bedard) is one of them. He claimed the Chicago Blackhawks forward is not shy of attacking the puck, something most youngsters lack.
"I think he stepped in nicely, and he's been everything that everybody thought he was going to be. And he might even be better than we thought".
Wayne Gretzky praised Connor Bedard as per Yahoo Sports.
Connor Bedard continues to shine in Blackhawks dark season
After winning the first game of the season in emphatic fashion against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Chicago Blackhawks have suffered with inconsistent performances this season. The season got even darker for them when they lost 4-2 to the Nashville Predators. This turned out to be their third straight loss as they are now 5-10-0 for the season. The only positive for them has been Connor Bedard.
Having won the draft lottery, the Blackhawks wasted no time in picking up Bedard. Following the departure of their captain Jonathan Toews, the season was expected to be a difficult one for them. It is proving to be true as the team is unable to get the desired results they want.
Bedard has picked up 14 points this season with nine goals and four assists to his name. However, his teammates have not been able to back up his stats. Their 4-2 loss to the Predators ended a four-game losing run for the Nashville side.
The Blackhawks will have to pick themselves up quickly and try to use the advantage of the contributions of the 18-year-old rookie forward. Their next game sees them face the Buffalo Sabres. The two teams are bottom of their division and will see this match as a great opportunity to get back up in the table as the season unfolds.