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Bedard vs McDavid: Clash of the Connors

23 April 2024

Bedard and McDavid

Introduction: McDavid vs Bedard

If you’re a hockey-loving person with kids on the way, perhaps consider naming them Connor. There seems to be something special about that name. Two players, both named Connor, both from Canada, both centers and both first-overall draft picks. With a nine year age gap between the two it is difficult to compare, but needless to say fans are heavily invested in these two players.

The Edmonton Oilers star forward Connor McDavid, is undoubtedly one of the most talented players to ever lace them up in the NHL. Making 12.5 Million USD annually, it is obvious that he is worth a lot. But now 18-year-old rookie, Connor Bedard, is stealing some of that spotlight. The Vancouver, BC native is considered one of the greatest prospects of his time. With only one NHL season under his belt, Bedard already has created constant media attention as well as a large fanbase. It’s not fair to compare their statistical outputs at this stage, but we can begin to wonder.

Rather than focusing on McDavid’s current NHL career, let's take a look at both players' earlier career stats. What can Bedard’s history predict about his NHL career ahead of him? What is he projected to look like once he reaches McDavid’s age? The expectations have already been set high. Can he live up to them? 

OHL and WHL years

During their three seasons playing junior, both displayed jaw-dropping stats. Accumulated over three seasons in the WHL, Bedard averaged over two points per game. While playing in the OHL McDavid ended up slightly behind, averaging 1.72 points per game, throughout his three seasons. Both players had over 100 more points then they had games played. 

Connor Bedard vs Connor McDavid stats at 17 y/o

connor bedard vs connor mcdavid stats at 17 y/oTo see a total comparison, take a look at Bedard vs McDavid in our compare players tool

Striking Parallels: Bedard and McDavid mirror each other's early triumphs 

The uncanny similarities between these two go far beyond sharing a first name and home country. Many of their early career statistics and achievements are almost identical. Both players were granted “exceptional status” in their Canadian junior leagues. Their international experience mimics each other as well. At 15 years old, both McDavid and Bedard suited up for Canada at the World U18 Championships. Over seven games both recorded an impressive 14 total points. McDavid had eight goals and six assists, while Bedard had seven goals and seven assists. The following season would remain the same for both players. Now playing at the U20 World Junior Championships as 16 year olds, Bedard continued to double the amount of total points in a season than McDavid. With 7 games played Bedard had eight total points, and McDavid had four. The following year, you guessed it, the same results. A 17-year-old Bedard racked up, a total of 23 points in seven games played. On the other hand, a 17-year-old McDavid produced 11 total points in those seven games. The consistency of their similarities and differences makes fans so intrigued with these players. Will this pattern continue?  

Comparing Rookie years

During McDavid’s debut season in the NHL, he was held to just 45 games due to injury. However McDavid still managed to rack up 16 goals and 32 assists. During his second season McDavid made history as he was the youngest player (19) to ever be named captain in the NHL. As captain he certainly set the bar high for the rest of his teammates, with 100 total points in 82 games played. 

Bedard’s rookie season was almost marred by injury, but not to the same extent. The 18-year-old concluded the 2023-24 campaign with 22 goals and 61 points in 68 games. With Bedard still being brand new to the league we don't have many numbers to compare. However, this first glimpse shines a positive light on what could be on the way. Bedard’s style of play is so unique that even non-hockey fans are taking notice. He is quick not only with speed, but with his mind, And then there’s the shot. Bedard surpassed former Blackhawks favorite, Patrick Kane in goals during a rookie season, 22 goals. He also holds the record for most shots on goal by a rookie with 199.  

Achievements and Awards

The two have an eerily similar trophy case from the junior ranks. They each own CHL Player of the Year honors, league MVP honors, and led their respective leagues in goals and points as rookies and as draft-eligible skaters. They have gold medals from the U18’s and U20 World Championships

As for the most recent achievements, Bedard has already been named Rookie of the Month in the NHL, two months in a row. During McDavids NHL debut, he was given rookie of the month award for three consecutive months. With the 2023-24 regular season concluded, it is disappointing we will not see Bedard on ice during the playoffs. It is interesting to imagine how he would perform under these different circumstances. 

Conclusion With such a dramatic age gap between the two players, It will be some time before we can realistically compare the two at the NHL level. However, considering the skill level and the early path forged, we can begin to wonder if Bedard can match what McDavid has accomplished thus far. 

McDavid is already an NHL legend at the age of 27. Can Bedard do the same? It will be an exciting journey to watch him improve and meet new achievements. Not only is Bedard entertaining to watch but he is a beacon of encouragement. And we can expect to see a whole swath of players named Connor heading to the NHL in the next decade-plus.



Nadine Rattner
23 April 2024