If you read any casual scouting reports on presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL draft Connor Bedard, the superlatives jump off the page and for good reason.

He's been a brilliant junior player since he was 15 years old and he's racked up points and accolades like Ash collects Pokémon: he's got to get them all. Scouting analysis tells us a lot of things, but what it doesn't tell us is the way a player of his ilk is formed.

Bedard gets compared to Connor McDavid simply because he's the most recent player of that caliber to hit the draft. Before him, it was Sidney Crosby. Generational talents don't generally have peers, particularly at their age. What we can do to explain Bedard is to take his abilities and draw comparisons to the players we've been watching in recent years.

Trying to piece together the kind of player Bedard is going to be is tricky. We're trying to make the intangible tangible and that's difficult to do because Bedard is producing points against players who aren't NHL caliber. But a player of his ability will be able to do similar things at the next level because he's just that good.

We'll do our part by trying to explain him by picking out those around the league we see in particular parts of his play.


Stickhandling: Tage Thompson

Watching countless Connor Bedard highlight reels can lead you to see a lot of different ways he goes about beating his opponents. There are times he makes them look silly for even attempting to defend him. It's the type of thing that elite talent can do multiple times per night.

When you look closely at how Bedard handles the puck going into traffic in the offensive zone and the way he's able to move it wide around defenders without necessarily altering his route, it's impressive. His ability to dangle the puck to maintain possession and create a scoring chance out of nowhere look like the kinds of plays Sabres center Tage Thompson has become renowned for.

Whether the defender is sprawling or getting low to defend against a pass or shot, the moment they stop moving their feet, Thompson is able to make them look foolish for trying. Bedard has shown this capability as well.