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Blackhawks’ Bedard Named NHL ‘Rookie of the Month’ for March

NEW YORK – Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard, who led all rookies with 4-13—17 in 14 games (the most assists or points by a rookie in a calendar month since Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell in January 2022: 3-14—17 in 15 GP), has been named the NHL’s “Rookie of the Month” for March.

Bedard, who also earned “Rookie of the Month” honors for November and December, is the first player to win the award at least three times in one season since Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid in 2015-16 (October, February and March).

Bedard edged New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes (1-11—12 in 15 GP), Arizona Coyotes center Logan Cooley (8-3—11 in 15 GP), Colorado Avalanche goaltender Justus Annunen (4‑1-0, 1.51 GAA, .952 SV%, 1 SO) and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau (3-1-1, 1.97 GAA, .939 SV%, 1 SO) for the March honor.

Bedard, who also ranked among the March rookie leaders in shots on goal (1st; 54), power-play points (t-1st; 8), power-play assists (2nd; 7) and average time on ice (3rd; 21:06), set a franchise record for assists in a calendar month by a rookie – ahead of Brandon Saad’s 12 in March 2013 (3-12—15 in 14 GP) – and became the third Blackhawks rookie to compile at least 17 points in a single month, joining Steve Larmer in December 1982 (9-10—19 in 14 GP) and March 1983 (8-9—17 in 14 GP) as well as Jeremy Roenick in December 1989 (7-11—18 in 12 GP).

The 18-year-old Bedard, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2023 NHL Draft, found the scoresheet in nine of his 14 March appearances. That included his fourth career multi-goal and third career three-point performance March 10 vs. ARI (2-1—3), followed by a career-best 1-4—5 March 12 vs. ANA. The latter marked the fifth five-point game by an 18-year-old in NHL history, following Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (0‑5—5 on Nov. 19, 2011), Ilya Kovalchuk (1-4—5 on Jan. 19, 2002), Dale Hawerchuk (3-2—5 on March 13, 1982) and Jack Hamilton (4-1—5 on Dec. 4, 1943), as well as the third four-assist contest by an 18-year-old (after Nugent-Hopkins and Kovalchuk).

Bedard also reached the 50-point and 20-goal milestones as part of his five-point performance (52 GP). He became the third-fastest Chicago player, from the start of his NHL career, to hit the 50-point mark – behind Bill Mosienko across three campaigns from 1941-42 to 1943-44 (35 GP) and Terry Ruskowski in 1979-80 (50 GP) – as well as the second 18-year-old in franchise history to score 20 goals in a season, joining Eddie Olczyk in 1984-85 (20-30—50 in 70 GP).

Despite missing 14 games due to injury, Bedard places first among rookies in goals (21), assists (36), points (57), shots on goal (190) and game-winning goals (t-2) through 60 total appearances this season. He also sits among the 2023-24 rookie leaders in power-play assists (2nd; 16), power-play points (2nd; 19), power-play goals (t-4th; 3), average time on ice (5th; 19:42 – minimum: 5 GP) and shooting percentage (10th; 11.1% – minimum: 1 SOG/GP).

Connor Bedard in March

March 2COLUMBUS0115-2 L
March 4at Colorado0005-0 L
March 5at Arizona0225-2 W
March 9at Washington0004-1 L
March 10ARIZONA2137-4 W
March 12ANAHEIM1457-2 W
March 15LOS ANGELES0005-0 L
March 17SAN JOSE1125-2 W
March 19at Los Angeles0116-2 L
March 21at Anaheim0004-0 L
March 23at San Jose0115-4 OT W
March 26CALGARY0113-1 W
March 28at Ottawa0002-0 L
March 30at Philadelphia0115-1 W
Totals 413177-7-0
Mikey Balhan Sports

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