Chicago Blackhawks' rookieConner Bedard placed on injured reserve following jaw fractureduring a game against the New Jersey Devils.
The injury occurred in the first period when defenseman Brendan Smith delivered a hit, forcing Bedard to leave the game.
Defenseman Brendan Smith hit Bedard in the face, forcing him to leave the game in the first period of the 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils. He underwent a specialist evaluation in Chicago on Saturday morning following the team's return home.
Following the match, specialists in Chicago assessed Bedard's condition on Saturday morning. The severity of the injury and the expected recovery time remain uncertain.
Head coach Luke Richardson expressed the team's uncertainty about Bedard's and Nick Foligno's returns, emphasizing the need for further evaluation.
Nick Foligno, who also sustained an injury with a fractured left finger, joined Bedard on injured reserve. With several forwards sidelined, the Blackhawks urgently sought reinforcements.
The team acquired Rem Pitlick in a trade with Pittsburgh and claimed Zach Sanford off waivers from Arizona.
Connor Bedard has been placed on injured reserve with a fractured jaw on Saturday.
Bedard, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL draft, has been a standout performer in his rookie season. Leading all NHL rookies in both goals (15) and assists (18) in 39 games, the 18-year-old forward has showcased remarkable skill and versatility.
Despite the setback, Bedard's contributions have marked him as a potential All-Star Game participant.
Bedard's injury resulted from a hit by Brendan Smith, leading to a skirmish involving teammates. Richardson and teammates emphasized Bedard's positive attitude and toughness despite the disappointment.
As soon as we seem to find a little bit of something, someone goes down. It's definitely a challenge.- Head coach Luke Richardson
The hit itself has sparked discussions about its nature, with differing opinions on whether it was intentional.
Like Smith, Devils coach Lindy Ruff didn't notice any intentionality in Smith's hit.
I just think it's a good hit. It's unfortunate where he got him. You don't want to see that. I think at different times all young players learn that there's different areas where you've got to be to be aware. There's no intent. It's just a solid hit.- Devils coach Lindy Ruff
Bedard and Foligno join a growing list of injured players for the struggling Blackhawks, who currently sit at the bottom of the league.
The team faces challenges with key players, including Seth Jones, Anthony Beauvillier, and Taylor Hall, already on injured reserve.
As the Blackhawks await further updates on Bedard's condition, questions arise about the team's ability to overcome mounting challenges.
The consecutive injuries to key players pose a significant hurdle for a team striving to find stability and success in a challenging season.
The Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in a challenging situation as rookie standout Connor Bedard is placed on injured reserve with a fractured jaw. With key players already sidelined, the team must navigate through adversity, seek reinforcements, and maintain resilience.
As uncertainties surround Bedard's recovery, the Blackhawks face an uphill battle in their quest for stability and success in the ongoing season. The road ahead will test the team's depth and strategic approach to overcoming the hurdles posed by a string of unfortunate injuries.