Sometimes, No. 1 overall draft picks don’t live up to the hype. That isn’t the case with Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard. No, the Hawks aren’t contending for a playoff spot, but Bedard is more than delivering on his promise with 13 goals, 17 assists for 30 points in just 33 games to date.
No goal was prettier than the beauty Bedard pulled off on Saturday night, though — a “Michigan” goal, aka a wraparound, lacrosse-style lamplighter that poor Blues goalie Jordan Binnington never saw coming:
Zegras had only just returned to the lineup for his 12th game of the season, which is probably why, despite the Ducks losing 3-2 at home to the Kraken, he was given first-star honors at the end of the evening. What an absolutely filthy bit of stickhandling to beat Seattle netminder Joey Daccord.
It’s always a bummer to see youthful talents like Bedard and Zegras waste years of their careers on bad teams. The situation is a little more pressing for Zegras, whose Ducks haven’t come close to sniffing the playoffs in the previous four seasons. He debuted during the 2020-21 campaign and was their leading scorer last season.
Meanwhile, as even NHL casuals likely know, Bedard is the most highly touted prospect since Connor McDavid. Great to see him deliver amid adverse circumstances for the 10-22-1 Blackhawks. Let’s hope they can build a decent nucleus around him within the next couple years. You never know when a youth movement will pop.
It happened with the Jack Hughes-led New Jersey Devils last season in the former No. 1 overall pick’s fourth season. Pretty sure Chicagoans will expect a Year 3 spike with a generational player like Bedard in the fold.
Please enjoy the two Michigan goals of Bedard and Zegras split-screened together. Merry Christmas Eve, happy holidays and all that!