It’s just seven more days until Connor Bedard makes his long-awaited NHL debut. There’s been a lot of talk about the young forward for years now, and to absolutely no one’s surprise, he was selected first overall in this summer’s entry draft. Since then, Connor Bedard has been projected by ESPN to record 90 points in his rookie year, and earlier this week, TSN ranked him 48th on the top 50 best NHLers list.
Fans quickly pointed out that it might’ve been a stretch from TSN. When the list was published, Bedard had not scored a goal in the pre-season, and of course, he’s still not played a game in the big league.
The Chicago Blackhawks has had an up-and-down pre-season, and this weekend, Bedard was completely shut out by the Red Wings in a brutal 6-1 loss.
But Chicago bounced back from Sunday’s game with an impressive display against the Red Wings Tuesday—and most importantly, Connor Bedard has his first unofficial goal as a Blackhawk.
Sure, Connor Bedard scored a hat trick in the Blackhawks’ prospects game, but he hadn’t scored in the pre-season until Tuesday. Bedard had a busy game, setting up Connor Murphy, who scored the 2-1 goal in the second period. Bedard had another helper restoring Chicago’s lead to 3-2 in the third, as he helped Corey Perry to score in a power play.
Then, with 1:09 left in the third period, it was time for Bedard to score his first goal. Detroit goalie Michael Hutchinson left the ice for an extra attacker, and Bedard easily scored. The goal wasn’t highlight-reel-worthy, and Bedard probably knew it.
Fans found it absolutely hilarious how Bedard reacted to scoring his first goal—as he didn’t do anything. To be real, he even looked a bit angry.
”He’s kind of a humble guy,” coach Luke Richardson said, per The Hockey News. ”He doesn’t even want to celebrate that.
”He’s kind of bashful and he wants to score a nice goal,” Richardson added. ”I don’t know if he even counts those. I think he just wants to have a good game here at home, especially. I think he’s kind of hard on himself and we’re going to have to lighten him up.”
It wasn’t just coach Richardson that was impressed with Bedard’s display on Tuesday. His teammates praised him a lot for his performance.
”Everyone talks about his world-class (shot) release, but I’m even more so (impressed) with the way he’s able to read the play and make the play that’s there and not just force shots all the time,” Connor Murphy, who Bedard set up for the 2-1 goal in the game, said. ”He knows that guys are going to respect the shot and that kind of opens up (passing) lanes.”