CBJ, Connor Bedard Jacket.
The Blue Jackets are on track to finish with the NHL's third-worst record this season, giving them an 11.5% chance to win the draft lottery and the right to draft any player they chose. That player, barring anything crazy, is going to be Regina Pats (WHL) center Connor Bedard.
This season in Regina, he's registered 27 goals and 27 assists in just 28 games. Last season, he scored 51 goals and 49 assists in 62 games. At the World Juniors, he already broke the record for most goals and points for Team Canada in a career. Through five games at this year's tournament, he's posted eight goals and 13 assists. You read that right, he's averaging over four points per game.
Monday night's quarterfinal overtime winner was something to behold. Check it out.
I mean, are you kidding me? He hasn't even turned 18 yet and he's dominating the best U20 players in the world? Sometimes, the hype a player gets is too much or unwarranted. For Bedard, that couldn't be further from the truth. He looks like a franchise-changing player. A player like that only comes around once in a generation. The release of his shot is something special, and as you saw in the clip above, so are his poise and stick handling.
The Blue Jackets need to do everything in their power to get Bedard. If that means losing the rest of their games this season 5-0, so be it. All the pain and suffering Blue Jackets fans have endured not just this year but throughout the 22-year history of the franchise is worth it if they get Bedard. He's that special.
If there ever was a year to be just dreadful and a player do that for, it's the 2023 draft and Connor Bedard.