Conor Bedard has known since May 8 that he will be wearing a Chicago Blackhawks uniform. Bill Daley revealed his future destination in the NHL by bringing back the Hawks’ logo during the draft lottery. But in front of microphones and cameras, the Pats Regina phenomenon tries to maintain a false mystery.
Bedard met the media late Friday afternoon at Lecom Harborcenter, the Buffalo Sabers’ training center, but also at evaluation camp theater for the top hopes on the sidelines for the draft.
In Chicago, Bedard will be the centerpiece of the rebuilding Blackhawks that will usher in a new era following the departures of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
When asked about his future in the Windy City, Number 98 gave the most guarded reply. occur in the condition.
“That would be great, but we’ll see what happens,” he said. There is a great history with this organization. I know Chicago is a sports city. If you take me in, it would be a great honor.”
Considered a generational talent in the mold of Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, Bedard hit some wild numbers in his third and final season in Regina of the JHL West. In 57 games, he scored 71 goals and had 72 assists for a total of 143 points.
He also won gold twice in the space of just a few months at the World Junior Championships. In the last matches of the Junior World Championships in Halifax and Moncton, he showed that he came from another planet with a total of 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in 7 games.
Before landing in Buffalo for the “Combine,” Bedard visited Las Vegas on a promotional tour with Adam Fantelli, Leo Carlson, and Will Smith, the other three biggest names in the draft. They were attentive spectators during the Golden Knights’ 7-2 victory over the Panthers in Game 2 of the Finals.
“When you watch a game in the final, you want to play more,” he said. I meet Leo and Will, two guys I’ve never had the chance to meet before. I’ve never seen a final match before. It was an amazing experience. The fans in Vegas are crazy.”
In Vegas, Bédard also made cameo appearances on the airwaves of TNT, broadcaster of the final matches in the United States. In between periods, he found himself at a table with Wayne Gretzky, Henrik Lundqvist, Anson Carter, Paul Bissonnette, and Liam McHugh, the host.
“It’s great to meet the hockey legends and… biz, he went on air, and delivered a nice jab for Bissonnette who has a modest 202-game NHL experience, but a very good media career.”
Tips from McDavid
On June 28 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Bedard will take to the stage first in a Hawks jersey.
He will thus follow in the footsteps of other former class leaders.
On that matter, the 5’11” center has already gotten some advice from McDavid, the first overall pick of 2015, on how to juggle expectations with pressure.
“I spoke to McDavid last summer,” he said. I trained with him for a week. He told me to enjoy the moment on draft day and forget the distractions on the ice.
“I take it one day at a time and focus on the important things. I don’t dwell on all the attention I can get. I just want to be a better player and a better person.”
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”