Home sport World class rookie Conor Bédard can stock the NHL’s hyperdrive: LeBrun

World class rookie Conor Bédard can stock the NHL’s hyperdrive: LeBrun

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There is no doubt that this is the kind of prospect the all-tank NHL franchise should choose.

There’s always the danger of overreacting to a young player’s performance in the world, for better or worse, but what we’ve seen so far from Conor Bedard is staggering, from an astonishing 21 points in five games in the last tournament. , sending Canada into the quarter-finals on Monday with the goal of overtime that they will be back for good.

And if you’re one of the basement teams in the NHL standings, that definitely enhances how you really feel about the player.

My first draft was with Ottawa in 1995, although I was in a part-time role,” said general manager Jarmo Kikalainen. the athlete Monday morning. “The first thing I learned from John Ferguson Sr., my first Scoutmaster, was to look for guys who ‘want to make a difference.’”

“I think we can all agree on Bedard’s ability/talent – but he wants to make a difference and almost every turnaround he is exceptional.

“Exceptional players win trophies.”

The injury-hit Jackets, bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, will have a chance to enter the draft lottery, along with the Blackhawks, Ducks, Sharks, Coyotes, Canadiens, and Flyers, among others.

I say among the “others” because there is so much hockey and time left for teams to fumble around the standings and fight the Bedard lottery. What about the Blues after Injury News Monday regarding Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko?

What will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks is how quickly some of these teams start trading players before the March 3 deadline.

As they do, part of the goal will of course be to recover futures-type assets. But the other advantage, especially with trades happening sooner rather than later, will be diluting these teams’ existing NHL rosters and helping boost their chances in the lottery.

Like, the wolves probably won more games than they actually wanted to by now. Are you adding urgency to the trade? Jacob Cicero once put an acceptable offer on the table? Hmmm, even though no one says it publicly, I’m here to tell you that the answer is definitely yes.

Because Bedard deserves it.

“At this age, the best prospect since Crosby,” said a longtime NHL team executive with a background in scouting, who asked not to be identified. “Elite skills are one thing, but the ability to rise to the occasion is something you rarely see. He’s done it internationally and in the Western League. He seems to like a challenge for him personally or on a team level.”

The NHL general manager, who also asked not to be named, added, “He is a generational talent and has proven it for several years, despite his age. I expect Conor Bedard to be a go-to for any organization fortunate enough to recruit him.”

Again, I’m always afraid of overdoing junior world shows, anyway. But what we see is something else.

Bedard is the best prospect since Austin Matthews at least?

“The best since McDavid,” Craig Patton, senior director of scouting at TSN, told me without hesitation Monday morning.

“I don’t want to lose the ‘generation’ sense of using him so much, right? If we have generational players every three years, then that’s chips, right? I think we saw (Bédard) as a star of the franchise, but I find it hard to argue with his presence as a generation player.” .

“Because if anyone was on the line, it was him. And he didn’t do anything so we wouldn’t think he was crossing the line.”

Button never thought that Matthews, for example, was a player from generation to generation. Starr, yes, but Jill, no.

Bedard? “It gives me plenty of time to think,” Patton said by phone from Moncton, New Brunswick.

Button followed decades of world junior championships.

“(Peter) Forsberg dominated the 1993 championship. He was 19,” Button said. “I saw 19-year-old boys dominate the championship. I’ve never seen such a young player dominate the championship. Now (Jaromir) Jagr was great in 1990, but he couldn’t control it. He was very good at 17, but he couldn’t control on her.

“He is not even close between Bedard and everyone here.”

On the other hand, I was a little skeptical of Min’s answer the athleteRespected odds expert Corey Brunman on Monday morning when I asked him if Bedard was the best prospect he had seen since Matthews.

“The big question about Bédard is whether or not it’s a National Hockey Center,” Brunman said. “He could end up positioning himself behind Matthews and (Nathan) McKinnon, et cetera, at the same age.”

My friend and colleague from TSN, legendary scout Bob McKenzie has been through the Junior World Series and NHL Draft for a very long time.

“All I know is that he’s special,” McKenzie said on the phone from Halifax. Now where it’s going exactly, I don’t know. But he’s special. And he’s more special than I thought when I saw him this summer. He’s got elite, elite. He shoots the puck like Auston Matthews is now, when he’s 17. He’s got the best shot I’ve ever seen “Absolutely anyone who gets out of pickup hockey. I’ve never seen anyone shoot the puck like this kid shoots at. So the kick is what sets him apart from everyone else. Otherwise, he’s playing against his peers.”

But there is clearly more.

“I also think he has the elite feel of hockey. I think he has the ability to see the ice and make plays,” McKenzie continued. “I think he’s shown that in the last two games here with some of his assists.

“I said this on the air: He’s not as tall as Mario (Lemieux), he’s not as strong and stocky as M (Crosby), he’s not as fast as Conor McDavid. Not a typical center, he can be more of a winger than a center in the NHL – I don’t know but it’s a sure possibility – but all I know is whatever he is, he’s got it. And he got a lot out of it.”

So don’t be surprised if some lottery teams start selling out their trading deadline a little earlier than normal this season. Because the drive to promote the best possible lottery odds has taken on a whole new level of urgency after Bedard’s performance at World Juniors.

(Photo: Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP)

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