Bedard downplays comparisons to McDavid: 'That guy's got 700 points'
After reasserting his dominance as the projected 2023 first overall pick at the world juniors, Connor Bedard is well aware that the hype surrounding him is real.
But that doesn't mean he's completely on board with the lofty comparisons he's garnered throughout his career to generational talents like Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, and Connor McDavid.
"I think when people kind of put me against someone - McDavid, for example - I'm like, 'Well, that guy's got 700 points in 20 games in the NHL,'" he joked during an interview with Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino. "I think what I'm doing right now is obviously not to the impact of that, but obviously it's cool to see your name with those guys. I hope to play against them one day, that would be a dream come true.
"For me, I've got a lot of games left to still prove myself and I've gotta get out there and do that and try and get better every day."
The 2023 NHL Draft is just five months away and, assuming he makes his team's opening-night roster, Bedard won't have to wait very long to compete against the likes of McDavid (who has 786 points in 536 games).
Even though the next phase of his career is right around the corner, making the jump to the big leagues appears to be a surreal idea for Bedard.
"The NHL's still that thing that's the best of the best and it feels like you're still a fan of it and that these people aren't real people," he said. "Honestly, there's still a lot of work to do and I hope to be there one day."
This isn't the first time Bedard has reined in the buzz surrounding his own hype. After becoming the first 16-year-old since Gretzky to score a hat trick for Canada at the world juniors in December 2021, Bedard noted that he didn't think he'd be hitting the 2,800-point mark in the NHL like the Great One.
The British Columbia native continued to build up his resume during the 2023 World Junior Championship, where he was named MVP of the tournament after setting new Canadian records in all-time goals (17) and points (36).
Bedard is currently crushing it with the Regina Pats of the WHL. He leads the league with 39 goals and 81 points in 33 contests while riding a 32-game point streak.
- Lightning clinch playoff berth, lock in 1st-round matchup vs. Maple Leafs
- Matthews back in beast mode, new union boss, and 5 other NHL items
- McDavid's season has lit up Edmonton, but a Cup remains on everyone's minds
- Novak's 4 points propel Predators to dominant win over Blues
- Flyers' Konecny returns vs. Sabres, Couturier won't play this season