On Tuesday’s episode of Daily Faceoff Live, Frank Seravalli and Colby Cohen discuss Regina Pats phenom Connor Bedard and which teams are in the race to select the generational talent first overall in the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft.
Frank Seravalli: Let’s take a look at the Connor Bedard watch. What an afternoon it was for Bedard on Monday in Edmonton as his Regina Pats faced off against the Edmonton Oil Kings before the Oilers played on Monday night — at the same building at Rogers Place. When you take a look Colby, at the game that Bedard was able to put together, a five-point afternoon, it’s absolutely bananas.
Colby Cohen: This looks like a guy out there who is literally playing pond hockey in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL) that’s a tough league. He’s just playing a different sport, a whole different game than the rest of the guys. I got to tell you, there are a lot of people who are excited about this young man. I see all over the city of Chicago in particular the hashtag #TankForBedard this season. Frank, when you see a clip like last night, that’s got to get a hockey fan excited.
Frank Seravalli: Yeah, hard not to get excited about something like that. But, I wanted to point out that a lot of the teams we expected to see in the draft lottery race have suddenly found themselves back in that spot. The Anaheim Ducks are carrying up the rear at the bottom with a .288 points percentage. Some of those teams in between the Ducks and the Flyers, like the Blackhawks, the Coyotes, and the Flyers specifically — have had some pretty decent starts to the year and have fallen back to earth. What’s interesting to watch is the reaction in each of these fan bases. Maybe not so much in Columbus where they were expecting their team to be a bit better this season, same thing in Ottawa they expected that team to be a playoff team. I know in Philly, living here, just like you’re seeing in Chicago, fanbases are actually on board and rooting for their teams for a quality loss. Where the team looks pretty good, competes and then ends up losing. The fans think that’s the best way forward for their franchise. Has that part of it surprised you a little bit? Considering we were expecting this year to be kind of quite miserable in Chicago?
Colby Cohen: I give the fan base a lot of credit, I think it’s an intelligent group here. I think they’re embracing the fact that the organization has been transparent about what’s going on, they’re rebuilding the organization from the top to the bottom, we’re talking prospect pool, American League team, scouting staff, you name it, it looks different. There’s definitely a group of Chicago fans who are embracing the rebuild and what’s going forward. Ultimately we will have to see how it plays out come draft time. I’ll tell you, it’s not just Bedard, Adam Fantilli also looks like he might be one of these franchise-altering players.
Frank Seravalli: Yes, this is quite a deep draft heading into 2023. We’ve been keeping an eye on it for a number of years and it’s getting close to happening so we’re excited about that.
You can watch the full episode here…