2023 Draft Prospect Profile: 13.5% for Connor Bedard

We have a 13.5% chance of getting this kid

The 2023 NHL Entry Draft is rapidly approaching, and it's time to look at who the Blue Jackets could pick on Wednesday, June 28th. The Columbus Blue Jackets own their first rounder, guaranteed to be in the Top 4, as well as the LA Kings' pick, which will likely be in the 20s. First up: Connor Bedard.

Here's an easy question: Who had the best 2022-23 season? It's Connor McDavid. He earned 153 points, 25 more than second place and 40 more than third, with 64 goals and 89 assists, both also top of the NHL.

Here's a not-so easy question: Who had the second best 2023-23 season? Is it 61-goal scorer David Pastrnak? Or Linus Ullmark, the only goalie in the league with a GAA below 2.00? Or Erik Karlsson, who completed the 15th season with 100+ points among defensemen, ever? Or is it Connor Bedard?

Connor Bedard

Position: C
Team: Regina Pats (WHL)
Date of Birth: July 17, 2005
Birthplace: North Vancouver, BC
Height: 5'10" / Weight: 185 lbs
Shoots: Right


Ranked #1 by Consolidated Ranking
Ranked #1 by Elite Prospects
Ranked #1 by FC Hockey
Ranked #1 by TSN (Bob McKenzie)
Ranked #1 by TSN (Craig Button)
Ranked #1 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #1 by The Hockey News
Ranked #1 by NHL Central Scouting (among North American skaters)
Ranked #1 by SportsNet
Ranked #1 by Recruit Scouting
Ranked #1 by Dobber Prospects
Ranked #1 by Draft Prospects Hockey
Ranked #1 by Smaht Scouting
Ranked #1 by The Puck Authority
Ranked #1 by Daily Faceoff
AVERAGE - 1.00

2022-23 Stats

Games Played: 64 (57 Regular Season, 7 Playoffs)
Goals: 81 (71 RS, 10 PO)
Assists: 82 (72 RS, 10 PO)
Points: 163 (143 RS, 20 PO)
PIM: 70 (62 RS, 8 PO)
Plus/Minus: +47 (+39 RS, +8 PO)

CANADA U20 (World Juniors)
Games Played: 7
Goals: 9
Assists: 14
Points: 23
PIM: 2
Plus/Minus: +14

143 points in 57 games. One hundred and forty-three points. In fifty-seven games. That's 2.5 points per game! So what if it's the WHL? I don't care what league you play in, that's generational talent. For reference, Connor McDavid put up 120 points in 47 OHL games (2.55 points/game) his pre-draft season. Don't believe me? Check out his World Juniors stats; 9-14-23 in just seven games. Bedard put up as many assists as the second leading scorer had points, and no other 2023 draft-eligible player even reached double digits. Again using the other Connor as reference, he posted a 3-8-11 stat line, one third the goals and just over half the assists, in the same number of games.

Connor Bedard will change whatever franchise he goes to. For the majority of the teams with a chance to land him in the May 8th Draft Lottery, he'd immediately be in contention for the best player in franchise history. He'll drag a team into playoff contention for the next decade. And the Columbus Blue Jackets will have a 13.5% chance of being that team.

Scouting Reports

"Connor Bedard is going to be a special player in the NHL sooner rather than later and any team that lands the first overall pick this year is going to be absolutely ecstatic. ... Bedard’s wrist shot will be one of the absolute best shots in the NHL from the moment he arrives (at least top-five), with the power and deception to make professional goalies tremble in their creases." - Logan Horn, The Hockey Writers

"Connor Bedard is a generational offensive talent. Simple as that. He overwhelms opponents with his speed, pace, and ability to put defenders on their heels, and can finish any play off with his lightning quick release. In the offensive zone, one thing I really gravitate to with Bedard is his ability to read off his linemates. He is great at pushing the pace and drawing in defenders, and has no problem being the playmaker when he sees fit. He also loves to shoot the puck. Every time he winds up, he puts everything he has into his shots. Bedard has a knack for finding and creating open ice for himself, which pairs beautifully with his release." - Ben Jordan, Smaht Scouting

"Bedard isn’t perfect, of course, but he is as close to being a perfect offensive presence as a 17-year-old could be.  ... And he is electrifying in transition. Bedard uses his skating abilities to their highest level in this area. He pairs the skating with remarkable hands and vision. Bedard finds the slimmest of lanes to exploit using his agility and acceleration, then hits the lane by using the incredible stickhandling he possesses." - Kyle Pereira, Last Word on Sports


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