Blackhawks’ Connor Bedard, No. 1 pick in 2023 NHL Draft, signs three-year, entry-level contract

The Chicago Blackhawks landed the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and they selected budding star Connor Bedard with that pick. On Monday, Bedard agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Blackhawks.

Bedard’s deal has a $950,000 annual cap hit and will run through the 2025-26 season. He agreed to terms on the contract on his 18th birthday.

“Signing Connor is a huge step in building a new foundation for our organization,” Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said in a press release. “We’re excited to see him grow and play a large role in pushing our team forward for many years to come.”

In 2022-23, Bedard registered 143 points (71 goals and 72 assists) in 57 regular-season contests with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. The star center led the WHL in points, while also finishing first in goals and tied for first in assists. Bedard also was tied for seventh in goals (10) throughout the WHL postseason, while having the eighth-most points (20) in just seven playoff contests.

“Being drafted by an Original Six team has been such a surreal experience and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this team’s future,” Bedard said. “The Blackhawks organization and the city of Chicago have such a rich sports history and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

This marked just the second time the Blackhawks owned the top pick in the NHL Draft. The Blackhawks also had the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft and selected superstar forward Patrick Kane, who the franchise traded during the 2022-23 season after 15 years in Chicago.

Bedard tallied 271 points (134 goals and 137 assists) in 134 career regular-season games over the past three seasons, which all came with Regina. The talented center is no stranger to be picked No. 1 overall as he was taken first overall in the 2020 WHL Draft at just 15 years old. Bedard quickly rose up the ranks, and he even served as the Pats’ team captain during the 2022-23 campaign.

Bedard is a lock to appear on Chicago’s Opening Night roster, and he will likely center the team’s top line.

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