Connor Bedard's 60 Point (So Far) Rookie Season and How it Stands Up Historically

Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks
Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Suppose that the days of rookies topping a point per game are mostly a thing of the past, 80s and 90s to be exact. The fact is that 17 of the top 25 rookie point getters of all time are from that 20 year window. Only 7 of the top 50 rookie point leaders are from the current era and are in the league at the moment (Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Paul Stastny, Matthew Barzal, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Alex Ovechkin). That's quite the list, however it's important to see that the league has gotten better from a "top to bottom" standpoint and the rookie class has found it more difficult to seamlessly continue their non-NHL pathway they were on (at least so far as in a rookie campaign).

Connor Bedard just hit 60 points in his 65th game for a .923 ppg average as a true 18 year old. This is nothing but impressive. Last year's Calder winner Matty Bieners (57 points in 80 games) was at a .713 clip for reference. Perhaps the most recent comparable would be Kiril Kaprizov who had 51 points in just 55 games for a nearly identical ppg average (.927) however he was already 23 years old and came in after playing professional hockey against older and more experienced competition. Pretty much, anyway you want to look at it, this has been an impressive rookie year for the 2023 top selection.

Connor Bedard
Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

From a history perspective, 60 (+) point rookie seasons aren't going to wow any historians, especially if going back into the early 20th century (or the above mentioned 80s / 90s) nonetheless the modern NHL must be considered when looking at a player such as Connor Bedard. With an 'all eyes on me" world, the league annoucning his arrival with a mic'd up referee at puck drop, or the constant extra hit or shove from a team's enforcer... to say anything less than 60 points is amazing would be underselling Bedard's rookie year.

What the year's ahead will look like will be the real question and the growth that both he and the team make now will ultimately be the fans lasting memory of this new era of Blackhawks' hockey. Will a season at just below a point per game be an anomaly or the norm? If bets were taken, most would say it will ring out as an anomaly. The days ahead are bright, a successful rookie season for Connor Bedard is about to commence.