There seems to be little question that this is the kind of prospect an NHL franchise should go all-out tank-a-palooza for.
There is always risk in overreacting to a player’s world juniors performance, to the good and the bad, but what we’ve seen so far from Connor Bedard is mind-blowing, from the staggering 21 points in five games to the latest heroics, sending Canada to the quarters Monday with an overtime goal they’ll replay forever.
And if you’re one of those cellar-dwelling teams in the NHL standings, it certainly fortifies what you probably already felt about the player.
“My first draft with Ottawa was already back in 1995, albeit in a part-time role,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told The Athletic on Monday morning. “First thing I learned from John Ferguson Sr., my first scouting boss, was to look for guys who ‘want to make a difference.’
“I think we can all agree on Bedard’s ability/talent — but that he wants to make a difference almost every shift is exceptional.
“Exceptional players win championships.”
The injury-riddled Jackets, last in the Eastern Conference standings, will have a shot at him in the draft lottery, along with the Blackhawks, Ducks, Sharks, Coyotes, Canadiens and Flyers, among others.