Incase you haven't heard, Connor Bedard has officially arrived — and his NHL transition has been a smooth one so far.
Bedard, the first-overall selection in the 2023 draft, started his NHL career on a five-game road trip with the Blackhawks before finally getting to make his home debut on Saturday night against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Vegas Golden Knights.
The most highly-touted prospect to enter the league since Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, with all eyes on him, didn't take long to give the fans what they came for, as Bedard's first career regular-season goal in front of the Chicago faithful nearly blew the roof off the place:
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) October 22, 2023
The devious wrister from the high-slot marked Bedard's second career NHL goal and fourth point in his sixth game. The tally also made Bedard — at 18 years and 96 days — the youngest player in Blackhawks history to score a power-play goal.
He's also the 11th first-overall draft pick to score in his team's home opener and the fastest ever to do it (1:30 of the first period), according to ESPN stats.
During the first intermission, Bedard talked to NBC's Darren Pang about his special milestone.
"It always feels good to score goals, I think added with the crowd of course, they're buzzing tonight so it's a lot of fun for us to play in front of and cool to get one in front of them."
The rookie sensation also detailed what it felt like to be a part of Chicago's electric pregame ceremony — one that included a massive ovation as he was introduced to the raucous United Center crowd, his first time experiencing the team's anthem tradition, and an emotional tribute to former owner Rocky Wirtz, who passed away this past July.
"Yeah it was really cool. Honoring Rocky was really well done and obviously he meant a lot to the city and the organization and he's someone we're all going to miss a lot so it was good we can celebrate him in that way," he said.
"Of course that anthem was unreal, it gives you goosebumps. Pretty special," Bedard added.