Connor Bedard was the Obvious Choice, but Oliver Moore May be the Steal of the Draft

Chicago Blackhawks Welcome Event for the 2023 NHL Draft Class
Chicago Blackhawks Welcome Event for the 2023 NHL Draft Class / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The 2023 NHL Draft is in the books. Some teams took great advantage, while others seemingly made some poor decisions and stunted their progression. The Chicago Blackhawks' choices are a mixed bag- find out why here.

What nearly every expert agrees upon, though, is that the Chicago Blackhawks had one of the best, if not, the best first round in the league. Obviously, Connor Bedard is a no-brainer. EVERY team in the league wanted this player. As we've heard a million times before, he is the best player to come out since Connor McDavid in 2015. He is that generational talent that fast track a team's rebuild.

Connor Bedard Leads through Routine and Habit

Connor Bedard is 17. He is a scoring machine; last season he tallied 143 points in 57 games during the regular season, 20 points in seven games in the playoffs, and then added 23 points in seven games for Canada U20. The talent was never in question. The only real consideration for Hawks fans, is that he is 17. He will be in a huge market tasked with turning a program around that recently lost Patrick Kane and Captain Jonathan Toews. Can he handle that burden?

All indications point to the affirmative, Connor Bedard is ready for what lies ahead. In an interview with Rob Vanstone from the Regina Leader-Post, Bedard says, “There are definitely going to be extra interviews and things like that, but I’ll be present with Regina and that will be my main focus, for sure,” Bedard said before leaving the family home in North Vancouver to attend the Pats’ training camp, which is to begin Friday morning at the Brandt Centre. “For me, it’s just a matter of limiting those distractions and not thinking about them too much.” He goes on to reflect on the situation, “For me, I’m just grateful to be in the situation I am, where people like yourself want to talk to me and ask me questions. It’s pretty cool."

It's one thing to say it, but Connor seems to be living it. He understands his position and he relishes the competition and expectations. With the Regina Pats, there was an opening in leadership on the team, team GM and head coach John Paddock said. “We had a leadership change, losing two key guys last year with Logan Nijhoff and Ryker Evans gone. In Connor, we could see very early that he sets a good example on and off the ice, as well as in his preparation, wanting to win, and that he was going to be a captain.”

Paddock went on to talk about Bedard. He said that Bedard's routines and habits are infectious. He brings the other players along because of how he prepares, not because of who he is. "Connor's not naturally loud but I think he has respect from everyone with the way he practices, how he plays, how he prepares. That, to me, is a big form of leadership and probably his best form at this time." - Mike G. Morreale@mikemorrealeNHL/ Staff Writer

Oliver Moore was a Complete Steal for the Blackhawks

Connor Bedard may be the consensus first choice and best young player on the planet, but Oliver Moore was an unbelievable pickup for the Blachawks at #19. For those who don't know Oliver Moore is an 18 year old kid from Minnesota. He made a name for himself playing for the US National U18 team. With the nationals, he notched 75 points in 61 games last year. He scored 31 goals and added 44 assists. At the World Juniors-18, Moore added nine points in seven games.

Those numbers are certainly worthy of recognition, but Moore is known for his skating. He is considered to be the fastest skater in the draft. When it comes to loose pucks, he is first. He is creative and skillful enough to manage cutbacks, cuts, direction change, etc. With the speed, he adds excellent recognition and anticipation.

The Chicago Blackhawks were fortunate that Moore fell as far as he did. Sixteen top scouts had Moore going anywhere from seven to seventeen. No one had him falling to the Blackhawks. Adding this level of speed is exactly what the doctor ordered for the rebuild. In a few years, Chicago could have the fastest team in the league. If certain prospects progress the way management hopes, the Blackhawks could have Bedard, Moore, Lukas Reichel, Frank Nazar, Kevin Korchinski and Roman Kantserov on the ice. The league is becoming increasingly about speed, over size. Moore will fit in nicely.

Next year, Oliver Moore will join the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team. This is an excellent team with tradition and the perfect spot for Moore to hone his skills and prepare for the NHL.