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Chicago Blackhawks draft Connor Bedard No. 1 overall: Here’s why Bedard’s special

From the moment the Chicago Blackhawks won the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, everyone knew the pick would be Connor Bedard. On Wednesday, that procedural move was made official when general manager Kyle Davidson announced the selection at Bridgestone Arena.

Naturally, the Blackhawks didn’t need long to reveal the highly-touted center out of British Columbia would be the pick.

Related: 2023 NHL mock draft: Latest projections ahead of Wednesday’s NHL Entry Draft

How Connor Bedard can help transcend Chicago Blackhawks

NHL: NHL Draft
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

While hockey players take time to develop, and we won’t see Bedard in the pros right away, the spotlight will be on Bedard at every turn. Expectations will be high for Bedard to dominate in the minor leagues and quickly make his way to Chicago.

Just 17 years old, Bedard has already drawn comparisons to the likes of Sidney Crosby (his childhood idol), Alexander Ovechkin, and Connor McDavid. It may take time for Bedard to reach these lofty aspirations, but scouts believe the skillset is there.

Bedard’s goal-scoring ability is his standout trait. After leading the entire WHL with 71 goals, 72 assists, and 143 points, it’s not hard to see why.

Bedard doesn’t just have a sweet shot. He’s also great at setting up teammates with precise passes, using his advanced hockey IQ to make plays. Bedard may not possess freakish size or speed on the ice, but it’s hard to imagine him struggling once he gets settled into the NHL.

The Blackhawks also have the 19th pick, where they’ll add even more talent to a draft class they likely couldn’t be any more thrilled about.

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