News broke earlier today that Connor Bedard's potential timeframe for recovery would be in the 6-8 week range for the young star center. With surgery being completed on Monday for a fractured jaw, Bedard will likely miss the All Star game in Toronto (more on that in a few).
That would mean that a return date would be somewhere in the February 21st to March 6th radius. For the Blackhawks, that means the start of a long home stand starting on said 21st (Flyers) all the way to March 2nd (Blue Jackets). That 5 game home stand could be a nice window to get Bedard back in some games (likely with a caged helmet ala World Juniors).
The following week they are on the road (Avs, Yotes, and Caps) before settling back home for a 4 game set March 10th-17th (Yotes, Ducks, Kings, Sharks). With some easier matchups and time on their side, perhaps being cautious with Connor Bedard is the way to go. Starting on March 10th against Arizona at home with 18 games left to play in the year would put him at 57 games played for his rookie year. If he comes back earlier, say in the prior home stand) Bedard could venture to play 62-66 games for his first season in the NHL.
With the All-Star game on February 3rd in Toronto, Chicago will likely have a new player representative for the evening. There are 3 main candidates (also said by coach Luke Richardson) in Jason Dickinson (on a 28 goal pace and 40+ pt season while also a +9 on a bad team), Philipp Kurashev (23 pts in 34 games) and goalie Petr Mrazek (.902 SV%, a +.027 on backup).
While neither of the 3 are truly deserving on being an All-Star in a normal setting, the NHL's all team representative posturing means that one of these 3 will likely be called into action. For me, Jason Dickinson's play has been far above expectations (shooting over 20% as well) and he would get the nod from my perspective.
News will likely come more into focus as Bedard's recovery begins to take shape. In 2-3 weeks I expcet an update followed by another 2 weeks after that which should give everyone a more accurate portrayal of his on ice schedule. My belief is that he will try and get back sooner than expected and will play in the February 21st game beginnning homestand.