The spotlight is something that is familiar to Connor Bedard. He spent years being labeled as a top draft prospect, before inevitably being selected with the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
His on-ice talent is undeniable and the Blackhawks being able to secure his services brings a significantly more positive outlook to their rebuild just based off his name alone. Since officially joining the Blackhawks organization, however, Bedard has shown that he is much more than a talented hockey player.
Bringing more to the table than being a franchise changer, in his brief time since coming to Chicago, Bedard has shown that his humility and mindset are equally as impressive as what he brings to the ice.
It didn't take long for Bedard to show that aspect of his game, and it all started immediately after being drafted when he met with the media in Nashville to discuss what that moment was like for him.
In this video provided by CHGO Blackhawks, Bedard discusses how he will handle the huge expectations set for himself, to which he quickly said he will be more focused on those close to him, his teammates and the coaching staff as he tries to be the best player he can to help the Blackhawks win hockey games.
There could have been a lot of different parts of his career that he could have alluded to in this moment, including the World Juniors when he had millions of eyes on him, yet he knows the importance of wanting to focus on winning as a group and putting the organization before himself.
Also during his post-selection press conference, Bedard made a comment about how he will have to make the team and is not expecting to be handed a roster spot. He even doubled down on it after he arrived in Chicago for Development Camp shortly after.
Obviously, it would be pretty suprising if Connor Bedard was not on the Blackhawks roster when the team opens the season on the road in Pittsburgh against his idol Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. However, for Bedard to be willing to come in and compete to earn his roster spot and not expect to be handed one says a lot about his character.
Everyone knows how great Bedard can be on the ice, but his mindset, ability to handle expectations or pressure and his drive to be great all match that talent. That type of mindset can be contagious, and will go a long way in helping the young players who will be a part of the future of hockey in Chicago.
While the Blackhawks wait to determine who the next captain of the team will be, a lot of people have suggested that Connor Bedard will eventually wear the "C."
It is not difficult to see that he would thrive in a leadership role and even though he has not played a minute with the Blackhawks yet, he is showing everyone that he is capable of handling something like that when the time comes.