Connor Bedard talks chasing Connor McDavid’s NHL stats

His title is Connor. After a season wherein a number of NHL groups tried to maximise their draft lottery odds to pick out him, Connor was chosen first total. He was forged as a possible franchise savior, with unparalleled offensive abilities. He is bought 1000’s of tickets earlier than taking part in a minute of professional hockey.

That was Connor McDavid with the Edmonton Oilers in 2015, after which he was a point-per-game participant as a rookie.

That is Connor Bedard with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2023, hoping to make a distinction for a franchise in want of a dramatic reversal of fortunes.

The 2 Connors had some shared experiences to debate when attending the thirteenth annual BioSteel NHL Camp in Halifax this week, hosted by BioSteel Vitamin.

“Connor has given extra numerous good recommendation,” Bedard stated of McDavid. “There are some issues he is stated about what to anticipate. It is clearly not simple. It is one of the best league on the earth. It is about simply getting ready your self one of the best you possibly can, and I really feel like I’ve accomplished that this summer season. I’ve labored actually laborious.”

The 18-year-old Bedard picks up the franchise baton from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who each left the Blackhawks this yr after their dynastic run in Chicago. Weeks earlier than his first NHL coaching camp, Bedard stated he is a mixture of nerves and pleasure.

“Your dream and lifelong objective is to play within the NHL and be an affect participant. That is what I wanna do,” he stated. “For me proper now it is about coaching, going to camp and incomes my spot on crew. However in fact there are some nerves.”

When McDavid was drafted by the Oilers, he additionally talked about getting “stronger and quicker” in the summertime earlier than his first NHL season. With regards to the stress of being a phenom, McDavid stated on his draft day, “my expectations on myself exceed any of these placed on me.”

There have been echoes of that declaration in Bedard’s method to the NHL.

“I believe for those who’re anxious about what different individuals are saying, or what you guys write about me … I am making an attempt to pursue a dream,” he stated. “There’s clearly stress from the surface. I am laborious on myself. However stress goes away, in my thoughts when, you are simply doing what you like. I’ve dreamed of taking part in on this league for 18 years now. So I would not actually consider exterior noise an excessive amount of.”

McDavid was restricted to 45 video games as a rookie on account of harm, tallying 48 factors. He completed third within the Calder Trophy voting behind the Blackhawks’ Artemi Panarin and Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers.

He is made up for that preliminary lack of {hardware} since then: Three Hart trophies as league MVP; 4 NHLPA most excellent participant awards; and 5 scoring titles in seven seasons. He has 850 factors in 569 profession video games.

“I believe he is sort of the top proper now. And you are like, ‘This man is one of the best, or probably the greatest, [so] how can I get nearer to him?'” Bedard stated.

However earlier than the hockey world runs wild with the “Connor vs. Connor” hype, Bedard indicated that it is not matching McDavid’s legacy he is involved about. It is creating one in all his personal.

“You by no means wish to be like, ‘Oh, I am unable to do that.’ I do not actually assume that mindset is that nice,” Bedard stated. “However I am not him. I am my very own particular person and my very own participant.

“I believe that is such an incredible factor in sport. You are at all times competing towards guys. For me to get to spend a while with him on the ice and simply attempt to compete with him … he is clearly unbelievable. You may barely speak about his stats as a result of they’re so ridiculous. However for me, it is simply making an attempt to be my very own participant. Be one of the best I may be.”

Could one of the best Connor win.

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