BREAKING: Blackhawks sign Connor Bedard to entry-level deal


As originally reported by The Athletic’s Scott Powers, Chicago Blackhawks 2023 first overall draft pick Connor Bedard picked a great way to celebrate his 18th birthday on Monday by agreeing to a three-year entry-level contract worth the maximum annual amount of $950,000 through the 2025–26 season.

Bedard made history as the Blackhawks’ second first-overall draft pick in team history on June 28, following Patrick Kane in 2007, after the Blackhawks won the NHL Draft Lottery in May. He will be the second Bedard to play for the NHL franchise, as his great-great uncle, defenseman James Bedard, played 22 games for Chicago from 1949–51.

According to a CHL/NHL transfer agreement, Bedard is not eligible to play in the AHL until he is 20 years old. As a result, if he does not make the Blackhawks’ roster in the fall, he would be forced to go back to his junior team, the Regina Pats. It is expected that he will make the NHL roster, though.

Bedard has been on NHL fans’ radars for two years, with his viral highlights and gaudy junior numbers. He has been compared to current NHL phenoms like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, which has Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson smiling from ear to ear as of late.

Bedard put up an astonishing 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 games last season for the Pats. He won the Canadian Hockey League’s top prospect award, was the leading scorer and won the David Branch CHL Player of the Year Award in June.

Bedard also won a gold medal at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship with third overall pick and Columbus Blue Jackets pivot Adam Fantilli, setting a new Canadian record for most points in a single tournament with 23 (nine goals, 14 assists) in seven games.

About Jeff Osborn

Jeff has covered the Blackhawks since 2009 with his former website and podcast The Puckin Hostile Shoutcast until 2017, when he moved over to The Rink. After a short hiatus to cover the inaugural Seattle Kraken season, he came back to Blackhawks coverage and started "The Net Perspective" podcast to discuss goaltending and goaltender development.


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