Connor Bedard celebrated his 18th birthday by putting his signature on a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks
The No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft is expected to be the top-line center when the Blackhawks open the regular season
"Signing Connor is a huge step in building a new foundation for our organization," Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said. "We're excited to see him grow and play a large role in pushing our team forward for many years to come.
Bedard's deal carries a maximum allowed $950,000 salary cap hit.
He had 143 points (71 goals) in 57 games with Regina in the Western Hockey League last season.
The organization hasn't been shy about the height of expectations around the prospect commonly described as a generational talent.
"Those players that can reach star potential are the hardest boxes and hardest positions to fill when you're building a team, and obviously first overall is a place where you hope you can get that," Davidson said last month. "And I feel like we've got a player in Connor that has every chance to be that type of player for us."
The Blackhawks finished last in the Central Division last season, winning 26 games
--Field Level Media