In his draft eligibility year, 2004-05, Sidney Crosby collected 168 points, including 66 goals, in 62 games for the Rimouski Oceanic. Connor McDavid scored 120 goals, including 44 goals, but in only 47 games with the Erie Otters, in the Ontario Junior League, in the 2014-2015 season.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ 2023 first overall pick, Connor Bedard, falls into this very select group. He totaled 143 points, including 71 goals, in 57 games with the Regina Pats. His outrageous dominance at the World Junior Championships, where he racked up 23 points in just seven games, only adds to his glory.
The other first overall picks, Alexis Lafreniere, Nico Hischier, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Steven Stamkos, did not fall into this category. John Tavares was approaching. Patrick Kane can aspire to that.
What can you expect from Bedard in his first season with the Blackhawks? In his first year, surrounded by late-round veterans like John LeClair, Mark Recchi and Zigmund Balfi, Crosby collected 102 points.
But the Penguins had a lousy clubhouse and finished in 29th placeH Rank in the general classification. In January, a furious Michel Therrien criticized his troops, saying: “I think they want to field the worst defense in the National League and they are doing an extraordinary job of doing so.”
Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal would join the Penguins the following season, Sidney Crosby had his best offensive season with 120 points, and Pittsburgh qualified for the playoffs for the first time in five years, and they wouldn’t miss it again until 2023.
McDavid was injured when he was thirteen years oldH Season match at the beginning of December. He returned to the game in February. He had 48 points in 45 games, producing 87 points over a full season. He played with Taylor Hall and with Anton Slebyshev during his baptism, but quickly disappeared from circulation. We’re still searching for a right winger after eight years, but that’s not stopping McDavid from playing in Gretzky and Lemieux’s backyard.
The Oilers’ No. 1 pick in 2015 would reach the 100-point mark the following year, as the Oilers were able to make the playoffs and even get past the first round. Edmonton missed them the next two years, but has qualified every spring since 2020 and won three rounds the past two years.
Bedard and McDavid may have something in common. Barring injury, they will have played their first career game for Taylor Hall. He was released by the Bruins to make room on the payroll and has been Bedard’s regular winger since the start of training camp in Chicago, the other being Ryan Donato, who was dreaming of having a 31-plus career point debut season…
The Blackhawks are at least as bad as the Penguins and Oilers when they arrived with their miracles. Another season in the basement of the standings should allow them to acquire another useful option in the draft, expanding the young core of Bedard Moment, Lukas Reichel, Kevin Korczynski.
I hope they have a luckier hand than Pittsburgh and Edmonton. In 2006, the Penguins had the second overall pick. Since they already had two great young offensive centers, they opted to select a bigger, more defensive center, Jordan Staal, ahead of Jonathan Toews and Nicklas Backstrom.
The Oilers fell from second to fourth after the 2016 lottery, after Columbus and Winnipeg won the second and third lotteries. The Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews first overall, the Jets’ Patrik Laine second overall, and the Blue Jackets pulled a bit of an upset by selecting Pierre-Luc Dubois over Finnish winger Jesse Puljujarvi.
Edmonton took a chance on Puljujarvi, who was highly ranked at the time with 17 points in seven games at the World Junior Championships. GM Ken Holland got rid of Puljujarvi a year ago after six inconclusive seasons.
Clearly, Stahl and Puljujarvi don’t fall into the same category. The first contains 1,173 career games in the NHL. We traded him too early, got too little, but above all we missed out on getting Toews or Backstrom.
But that didn’t stop these two groups from gaining momentum over the next decade. But for the Blackhawks, we nevertheless hope for an even more fruitful harvest in 2024…
Connor Bedard and the Hawks will play their first preparatory game against the Blues on Thursday evening. He will be on hand at the Bell Center to face the Canadian in his third career game, on Saturday, October 14 in CH’s home opener.
There seems to be no disturbance in St. Louis
Defenseman Torey Krug gave a positive speech in his first steps in St. Louis Blues camp. He was keen to stay with the team and hoped to turn his condition around quickly after a poor season last year.
He would have to be morally strong, or have voluntary amnesia, to forget the fact that the Blues management made a deal to sign him in June with the Flyers.
Krug, 32, was still under contract to a four-year, $6.5 million-a-year deal, and would have moved to Philadelphia for another left-handed defenseman, Travis Sanheim, 27, in the first season of an eight-year, $6.2 million deal signed in October 2022. Under ousted CEO Chuck Fletcher. Krug aborted the deal under a no-trade clause.
Coach Craig Berube says he took it upon himself to clean up the mess this summer. In this interview with the NHL. com.
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