NASHVILLE — It is finally, finally official. With the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Connor Bedard from the Regina Pats.

The moment Blackhawks fans have been waiting for since May 8, and really since the idea of “tanking” began in the early winter of 2021, has come as generational talent and top prospect in the 2023 Draft Class Connor Bedard is officially a Chicago Blackhawk.

Bedard shattered records at the World Junior Championships and put up points production in his draft year that nearly matched Connor McDavid’s. His arrival represents a shortcut back to respectability and contention for the Blackhawks organization and instantly becomes the face of the next era of hockey in Chicago.