Blackhawks’ Connor Bedard (jaw) back on ice amid recovery


Just 10 days after suffering a jaw fracture in a collision with New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith, the rookie for the Chicago Blackhawks made a swift return to the ice on Monday, following a seven-day post-surgery period. Bedard, the top pick in the 2023 NHL entry draft, participated in the session wearing a full cage and a no-contact sweater alongside fellow injured players Nick Foligno and Sam Savoie. Despite the initial six-to-eight-week timeline for Bedard’s return, Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson mentioned on Monday that there is currently “no change” to the planned schedule, emphasizing that the rookie was eager to resume play.

Richardson highlighted Bedard’s enthusiasm, stating that while the doctors permitted his return, specific instructions, such as refraining from slapshots and cautious jaw movement, were given. Although Bedard’s jaw is not completely wired shut, elastic bands are in place to aid proper healing. Bedard, who leads all NHL rookies with 15 goals and 33 points this season, was named to the NHL All-Star Game before his injury. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson acknowledged Bedard’s eagerness to return earlier this month, emphasizing the importance of ensuring his full recovery rather than rushing the process.

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Despite the possibility of Bedard participating in the All-Star Game in Toronto from Feb. 1-3, the organization’s primary focus is on his overall well-being, with Davidson noting that all is progressing well at the moment.

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