Top NHL Draft Prospect Earns Comparison To Bruins Star David Pastrnak

The 17-year-old has been viewed as a 'generational talent'


Mar 10, 2023

The Boston Bruins have forced other Stanley Cup contenders to go all in for the 2022-23 season, but there are teams who are aiming for another top prize in a 17-year-old Canadian prospect.

Connor Bedard is a player draft experts have deemed worthy of losing for. The Regina Pats (WHL) forward, Michigan Wolverines forward Adam Fantilli and Matvei Michkov of the KHL are players who potentially can go No. 1 overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, according to The Athletic’s Corey Pronman.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks are among the teams who have bottomed out this season with the latter trading Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers in an effort to secure a top three selection.

Pronman ranked the top prospects in the NHL draft and prefaced finding a direct player comparison was challenging but so was his view of a realistic outcome for the player.

Bedard was viewed as tier one prospect, which meant he was a “projected bubble generational player and elite NHL player.”

He earned elite grades for puck skills and his shot, and the 5-foot-10 center was given a player comparison to Bruins star David Pastrnak.

“Bedard is a potential franchise-changing No. 1 prospect,” Pronman wrote. “His skill and shot are legit game-breaking attributes. His ability to beat defenders one-on-one is among the best I’ve ever seen by a 17-year-old, and the pace at which he displays that elite skill is going to allow him to execute those type of skilled plays in the NHL. Bedard is a highly-imaginative puck-handler and a very creative passer. That, combined with the fact his wrist shot is a top-tier NHL weapon from anywhere in the offensive zone, makes him a projected nightmare for NHL coaches to stop on the power play.

“The only downside to his game is his frame, which has some scouts wondering if he gets pushed off to the wing in the NHL. He isn’t a pushover though, as he plays hard, and has a physical edge in his game. Given his success as a junior center, his strong skating and his high compete level, I think whoever drafts him will have to try him down the middle and move to the wing if it doesn’t work. If he is a wing, he could still have a potential Patrick Kane/Nikita Kucherov type of impact on a franchise.”

Bedard has won three gold medals playing for Canada’s under-18 team and in the World Juniors. His performance in the 2023 tournament earned him MVP honors. He scored 100 points in the 2021-22 WHL season, which has made him a must-watch player.

The Bruins traded out of the first round in their trade for Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals. Washington then traded that pick and Erik Gustafsson to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Rasmus Sandin. But Boston fans can rest assured the selection won’t be anywhere near the top three.

Thumbnail photo via Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports Images
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