Former Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) student-athlete Connor Bedard signed an NHL Entry Level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 17, 2023, his 18th birthday.
Selected first overall by the Blackhawks at the 2023 NHL Draft, Bedard played two seasons in the CSSHL with West Van Academy (now known as North Shore Warriors). During the 2018/19 U15 Prep season the North Vancouver, BC forward would lead all skaters with 64 goals and 88 points in 30 games while being named the CSSHL U15 Prep Division MVP. His 64 goals are still a single season CSSHL U15 Prep record.
Bedard would be granted exceptional status in 2019/20, allowing him to play in the U18 Prep division at just 14 years old. He would again lead the division in goals (43) and points (84), earning CSSHL U18 Prep Division MVP honours. Despite playing just two seasons and 68 games in the CSSHL, Bedard ranks second all time with 110 goals and 11th with 176 points.
At the conclusion of the season the Regina Pats would select Bedard first overall at the 2020 Western Hockey League (WHL) Draft. After a brief stint in Sweden due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bedard would become the first player in WHL history to earn exceptional status, allowing him to join the league a year early, as a 15 year old. That season Bedard would tally 12 goals and 16 assists in 15 WHL games, all tops among WHL Rookies, earning him the WHL Rookie of the Year Award. Bedard would also represent Team Canada at the U18 World Championships, scoring 7 goals and 7 assists in 7 games as he was named to the All-Star team and a Top 3 Player on Canada, helping Canada capture gold.
During the 2020/21 season, as a 16 year old, Bedard would finish second among WHL skaters in goals (51) and fourth in points (100). His 51 goals were 24 more than next highest on his team, while his 100 points were 31 more than next closest. His 49 assists were also tops among Pats skaters as he earned WHL (East) First All-Star Team honours.
Bedard would captain Team Canada at the 2021 U18 World Championships, recording seven points in four games while again being named a Top 3 Player on Canada. He would also play for Canada at the 2022 U20 World Juniors, finishing with eight points in seven games as Canada captured gold.
This season Bedard would lead all WHL skaters with 71 goals (21 more than second), 72 assists and 143 points (36 more than second). His impressive WHL season would earn him the following awards:
- CHL First All-Star Team
- CHL Player of the Year
- CHL Top Draft Prospect Award
- CHL Top Scorer Award (143)
- WHL (East) First All-Star Team
- WHL Most Assists (72)
- WHL Most Goals (71)
- WHL Most Points (Bobby Clarke Trophy) (143)
Bedard would again represent Team Canada at the 2023 U20 World Junior, leading the team to a gold medal.