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NY Post
New York Post
6 Jan 2024


NextImg:Connor Bedard fractures jaw after brutal hit in Blackhawks injury blow

Blackhawks phenom Connor Bedard has been placed on injured reserve with a fractured jaw after suffering a nasty hit on Friday, the team announced on Saturday.

In Friday’s game against the Devils, Bedard took a brutal hit from veteran New Jersey defenseman Brendan Smith while bringing the puck into the offensive zone during the first period.

Immediately following the hit, Bedard held his face in his hand in pain and skated to the bench as Nick Foligno, Brett Seney and other teammates got into a scrum with Smith behind the Devils’ net.

The 18-year-old rookie then headed straight to the Chicago locker room.

After the Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss, head coach Luke Richardson wasn’t immediately certain about the severity of the injury.

Connor Bedard falls to the ice after being checked by New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith (2) during the first period. AP

“Just didn’t return to the game. We’re going to get everybody home and checked out at home, to see if there’s anything further. Hopefully, we’ll know more tomorrow,” he said. “I think he banged his head. I’m not sure if he’s, like — I just got in there now and I haven’t heard anything other than everybody’s coming home tonight.”

Bedard was recently crowned an NHL All-Star, making him the youngest in league history to receive the honor.

Connor Bedard #98 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates off the ice after being injured in the first period of the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. NHLI via Getty Images
Connor Bedard has been placed on injured reserve with a fractured jaw on Saturday. NHLI via Getty Images

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft has played in all of the Blackhawks’ (11-26-2) 39 games, tallying 15 goals and 18 assists.

On top of Bedard’s injury, Chicago added Foligno to injured reserve well with a fractured left finger.

Additionally on Saturday, the Blackhawks added forward Rem Pitlick in a trade with the Penguins for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in the 2026 NHL Draft.

He has six goals and nine assists in 46 games this year.