Connor Bedard isn’t your ordinary NHL rookie. He’s been one of hockey’s most hyped-up players for years and started his NHL career with a bang.
Many think Bedard will dominate the league for years and years to come, but who is he?
Here is everything you need to know about Connor Bedard!
Connor Bedard was born on July 17, 2005. He grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with his parents, Tom and Melanie, and his sister, Madisen. Connor Bedard’s great-great uncle, James Bedard, played 22 NHL games between 1949 and 1951. For which team? Coincidentally, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Connor Bedard age and early life
Already in 2018, when Connor was just 13 years old, he gained attention as one of the brightest talents in all of hockey. He was named ”The Future of Hockey” in an article by The Hockey News. He then played minor hockey at West Vancouver Academy Prep of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, leading the league in goals and points in the school’s U15 and U18. He’s now 18 years old.
He played in Sweden
Hockey Canada made an exemption to grant Bedard to enter the major junior-hockey level leagues one year early to play in the WHL. But in September 2020, Bedard was loaned to Swedish club HV71. The WHL season was delayed due to COVID-19, and Bedard needed somewhere to play and practice, so he headed to Sweden to play junior hockey.
”The other players in the team were in shock. To them, he’s a king,” HV71’s director of junior hockey, Max Bohlin, told Swedish Aftonbladet.
Connor Bedard in the Regina Pats
Connor Bedard’s rookie season in the WHL (2020-21) was shortened due to the pandemic, but he still managed to record 28 points in 15 games. He was named the Rookie of the Year.
In the following campaign (2021-22), Bedard became the youngest player to score more than 50 goals in a season, finishing the season with 100 points.
In the 2022-23 season, Bedard led the league in scoring. He drew crowds wherever he and the Regina Pats played. He missed eleven games due to playing in the World Junior Championships, but finished the season with 71 goals and 72 assists in 57 games.
Bedard in the NHL Entry Draft
The Chicago Blackhawks won the Draft Lottery for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, earning the right to select phenom Connor Bedard. Within 90 minutes of the lottery outcome being announced, Chicago sold $2.5 million of season ticket packages. To no one’s surprise, the Chicago Blackhawks, with their first overall pick since Patrick Kane in 2007, selected Connor Bedard.
First contract with the Blackhawks
The hyped-up prospect signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on his 18th birthday, July 17, 2023. On October 10, the same year, he made his long-awaited NHL debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Connor Bedard salary
Connor Bedard’s three-year contract will mean a $950,000 US annual salary cap hit ($855,000 base salary + $95,000 signing bonus).
His first NHL goal
Bedard recorded his first point in the game, an assist, in the 4-2 win over the Penguins. On October 11, the night after his NHL debut, he scored his first NHL goal in a 3-1 loss over the Boston Bruins.
Connor Bedard parents
Tom Bedard and Melaine Bedard are his parents. Tom Bedard was a logger who, for many years, would drive six-to-eight hours a day to and from Vancouver to the B.C. interior, working as a tree feller. Melanie moved to Regina to live with Connor, but before that, she hosted international students in the family’s home. Both parents were in attendance to watch Connor play his first and second NHL game.
Connor Bedard’s sister
Connor Bedard has one older sister, Madisen Bedard, and she had no idea how good of a hockey player her younger brother was until he signed up with a sports agency in 2019. Madisen was the first person to take Connor to his first-ever skate. She was a skilled gymnast and is said to have played a big part in driving Connor to improve. When Connor Bedard moved to Sweden, a foreign country, during the pandemic, Madisen accompanied him overseas, supporting and helping him with cooking and organizing. Madisen Bedard is a second-year full-time business student at the University of Calgary.
Connor Bedard girlfriend
Although it’s not confirmed by Connor Bedard himself, rumors of a potential romance with Emma Loken have been circulating. Connor Bedard’s social media popularity is growing each day, and with that, more speculations surround him. Fans have shared videos on TikTok of Bedard and his alleged girlfriend, Emma Loken, with a number of sources indicating that she is Connor’s girlfriend. Still, nothing is officially confirmed by Bedard or Loken, who keeps herself from the public eye with a private Instagram and no account on TikTok.
Connor Bedard is 5′ 10″ (1.78m) tall and weighs 185 pounds.
Connor Bedard flex
Connor Bedard plays with a 70-flex stick, while most NHL players use a stick with flex in the 85-100 range.