BUFFALO, N.Y. — Patrick Kane got an up-close look at Connor Bedard when the NHL’s top stars — and rising stars — participated in the annual BioSteel Camp in Toronto before training camp of the 2022-23 season. And he had high praise for the projected 2023 No. 1 overall pick when asked about Bedard in January during an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.
“He’s coming down to this BioSteel camp with some of the best players in the league and I would say he was one of the guys that really stuck out,” Kane said. “You never really know, those young kids, how they’re going to do, especially coming in with a bunch of NHL players that have had success, a bunch of guys that have experience, have been in the league a long time and he seemed to me that he was very confident.
“I think there was one play in camp, he had a 2-on-1 with [Connor] McDavid and he looked off McDavid and took a shot. *Laughs* We were all kind of laughing on the bench. But yeah, I think the thing with him is he moves so well laterally. Everyone talks about his shot and his ability to shoot from different angles and off a different foot each time but man, the way he moves laterally is what gives him that space to be able to do that, so pretty impressive.”
Kane didn’t seem to have any concerns about whether or not Bedard would live up to the expectations when he gets to the NHL.
“I think everyone’s kind of wondering how is he going to do at the next level, how’s he going to be,” Kane said. “From what I saw, I think it’s all right there, he’s going to be special.”
On Saturday, I asked Bedard what his thoughts were about meeting Kane and what he was able to take away from being around a former No. 1 overall pick who shares a similar skillset as Bedard and has accomplished seemingly all there is to accomplish in the NHL.
“It was good,” Bedard said. “Obviously one of the best players ever. For me to get the opportunity to be with a guy like him and obviously, like you said, ask some questions and be a sponge around him and all the other guys there, I think that’s great for me to be able to learn from guys like him.”
Bedard said he didn’t think too much about the size aspect — both of them are roughly the same height and weight, although Bedard is much thicker than Kane was as a teenager — and more-so took mental notes on how Kane used his creativity on the ice.
“Just watching him and seeing the way he plays and some of the plays he makes, his head’s up at all times, and just kind of what he did out there and maybe ask him a few questions about stuff,” Bedard said. “You learn a lot when you’re with guys like that.”
Source: Yahoo Sports