Connor Bedard talks chasing Connor McDavid’s NHL stats

His title is Connor. After a season during which 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 expertise. He is offered 1000's of tickets earlier than enjoying 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 a lot of good recommendation,” Bedard stated of McDavid. “There are some issues he is stated about what to anticipate. It is clearly not straightforward. It is the very best league on the planet. It is about simply getting ready your self the very best you'll be able to, and I really feel like I've performed that this summer time. I've labored actually exhausting.”

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 influence 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 after all there are some nerves.”

When McDavid was drafted by the Oilers, he additionally talked about getting “stronger and sooner” in the summertime earlier than his first NHL season. On the subject of the strain 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 strategy to the NHL.

“I feel in the event you're anxious about what different persons are saying, or what you guys write about me … I am making an attempt to pursue a dream,” he stated. “There's clearly strain from the surface. I am exhausting on myself. However strain goes away, in my thoughts when, you are simply doing what you like. I've dreamed of enjoying 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 attributable to damage, 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 feel he is form of the top proper now. And you are like, ‘This man is the very 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 isn't matching McDavid's legacy he is involved about. It is creating one among his personal.

“You by no means need to be like, ‘Oh, I am unable to do that.' I do not actually suppose that mindset is that nice,” Bedard stated. “However I am not him. I am my very own individual and my very own participant.

“I feel that is such an excellent factor in sport. You are at all times competing in opposition to 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'll be able to 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 the very best I might be.”

Might the very best Connor win.

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