Saturday, July 13, 2024

Connor Bedard Progress Report: March Check-In

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With just eight games left in his rookie season, 18-year-old Connor Bedard isn’t slowing down.

The rookie phenom has only continued to improve, including during a very impressive month of March. In 14 games in that span, he picked up 17 points, building on a terrific season in the scoring column. Bedard is certainly due to find the back of the net, having not done so since St. Patrick’s Day against the Sharks, but a steady number of assists, including four in one game on March 12, kept his season as stellar as ever.

Historical Context

Despite missing 14 games in January and February with a fractured jaw, Bedard’s rookie season is already among the best in the Blackhawks’ illustrious history. His 57 points in 60 games in his first campaign are good for seventh all-time for Chicago. In his sights now are Darryl Sutter and Jeremy Roenick, with 62 and 66 points, respectively. If Bedard is able to go on a scoring run to close out the season, he could even catch Patrick Kane, who posted 72 points in his rookie year.

Calder Trophy Race

With just a few games to play, the race for the Calder Trophy has been narrowed down to two candidates: Bedard and Minnesota defenseman Brock Faber. Faber earned plenty of recognition in the race while Bedard was on injured reserve, but since his return, Bedard has outscored Faber 24-8. The latter has had an impressive season in his own right, averaging an incredible 25:03 of ice time per game with 41 points.

Still, Bedard has managed to live up to every one of his expectations this year, a feat that didn’t seem possible. He’s the odds-on favorite to walk away with the award but still has work to do to lock up the award. If he can pick up a handful of points in the next eight games, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be hoisting the Calder Trophy at the end of the year.

As Bedard wraps up his most successful month yet, he still has work to do to accomplish a few more goals. The rookie superstar has been everything the Blackhawks could have hoped for, and he continues to prove his value every month.

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