CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — [Blackhawks News Release] The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with forward Connor Bedard on a three-year, entry-level contract that runs through the 2025-26 season.

The Blackhawks selected forward Bedard with the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the team’s second first overall selection in franchise history. The Blackhawks also chose first overall when selecting Patrick Kane during the 2007 NHL Draft.

“Signing Connor is a huge step in building a new foundation for our organization,” said General Manager Kyle Davidson. “We’re excited to see him grow and play a large role in pushing our team forward for many years to come.”

Bedard, 18, recorded 143 points (71G, 72A) in 57 regular-season games with the Regina Pats of the WHL in 2022-23. He led the League in points to win the Bobby Clarke Trophy, while finishing first in goals and tied for first in assists en route to winning the Four Broncos Trophy as the 2022-23 WHL Player of the Year.

Bedard also finished tied for seventh in the WHL with 10 goals and ranked eighth with 20 points (10G, 10A) in seven postseason contests. The forward earned the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year, Top Prospect and Top Scorer awards for the 2022-23 season, becoming the first player in CHL history to win all three in the same season.

The North Vancouver, B.C. native won the gold medal with Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship as he led all tournament players in goals, assists and points (9G, 14A), and was tied for first with a +14 rating in seven games. Bedard earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and Best Forward awards, while also being named to the tournament All-Star Team, while his 23 points established a new record for points by a Canadian in a single World Junior Championship tournament. Additionally, he was named the IIHF’s 2023 Male Player of the Year.

“Being drafted by an Original Six team has been such a surreal experience and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this team’s future,” said Bedard. “The Blackhawks organization and the city of Chicago have such a rich sports history and I’m honored to be a part of it.”