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Connor Bedard Is the NHL’s Next Big Star. He Just Has to Wait a 12 months.


Craig Button, a former N.H.L. general manager and scout, compared Bedard to Steve Yzerman, the Hall of Famer who captained the Detroit Red Wings to 3 Stanley Cups. “Connor has all of the skill, but what impresses me is his intensity like Stevie Y’s, a killer’s instinct,” said Button, who tracks the entry draft and junior hockey for the TSN Network in Canada.

Such talk could easily turn a 16-year-old’s head, but Bedard is seemingly inured to it. He has being hearing it no less than since he was 12, the primary yr he began skating with N.H.L. players of their off-season workouts. “I skated with them once that summer and was that annoying little kid on the market,” he said. “Once I was 14, I used to be skating with them consistently, just about every single day they’d ice.”

Soon, Vancouver-based pros like Mathew Barzal of the Latest York Islanders and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Edmonton, the primary overall pick in 2011, would text Bedard when rounding up players for workouts and scrimmages. Those sessions gave Bedard a way of the skill and speed of the N.H.L. game, however the business side of the league, particularly pre-draft interviews, stresses numerous talented teenagers.

So, Newport Sports Management, the agency representing Bedard, arrange interviews for its client with three N.H.L. general managers: Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins, Kyle Davidson of the Chicago Blackhawks and Yzerman, now within the Red Wings’ front office.

For Bedard, essentially the most intense was a one-on-one interview with Yzerman. “We talked for 45 minutes, and he asked numerous questions,” Bedard said. “By the top it probably became more of a conversation than an interview. I asked him some questions and he gave me some advice concerning the game and the league.”

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