Connor Bedard is back.
And he notched his first point since fracturing his jaw on Jan. 5 which left him out of 14 games. Here’s the smooth pass he made to Philip Kurashev to put the Blackhawks on the board against the Penguins in the second period.
Bedard now has 34 points on the season with 15 goals and 19 assists on the season. He leads all rookies in goals scored and is tied for first in points, leading people to believe he still has a strong chance to win the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year award).
Yesterday’s game was an earlier return than originally expected for Bedard, who had been in a non-contact jersey to this point. The team didn’t hold a morning skate on Thursday, either, so Chicago’s rookie phenom is being thrown into the fire. Bedard was originally given a 6-to-8-week timeline after receiving surgery on Jan. 8.
“Obviously a tough start for a couple (reasons),” Bedard said. “I wanted to come back earlier, but you’ve got to be safe and smart. They told me I was ready to go today, and so I was excited.
Bedard’s assist moved him a point ahead of Minnesota’s Brock Faber in the rookie scoring race, 34-33.
In 40 games, Bedard has 15 goals and 34 points — which still leads all NHL rookies, despite him missing more than a month.