Chicago Blackhawks’ promising rookie sensation, Connor Bedard, sidelined indefinitely due to a fractured jaw.

The rookie center, Connor Bedard, was placed on injured reserve by the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday due to a broken jaw. Bedard sustained the injury when he was hit by New Jersey defenseman Brendan Smith in the first period of Friday night’s 4-2 loss to the Devils. Nick Foligno, another injured forward for Chicago, was also put on IR with a fractured finger. In an effort to strengthen their lineup, the Blackhawks acquired forward Rem Pitlick from Pittsburgh in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2026 NHL draft.
Bedard, who was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, has been the standout player for Chicago in his first NHL season. He has lived up to the expectations, leading all NHL rookies with 15 goals and 18 assists in 39 games. Bedard was chosen for the NHL All-Star Game on February 3rd in Toronto, and the Blackhawks will be playing in his hometown of Vancouver on January 22nd. There is currently no timeline for Bedard’s return as he was injured while carrying the puck into the offensive zone.
Although Smith wasn’t penalized for the hit on Bedard, there were subsequent altercations between the teams. Foligno, who has been a mentor to Bedard, left the game after fighting with Smith in the second period. The depleted Blackhawks have been struggling, losing five out of their last five games and seven out of eight overall. Under second-year coach Luke Richardson, they have a record of 6-19-2 in their last 27 games.
Bedard and Foligno join a lengthy list of injured players for the last-place Chicago team. Other forwards including Anthony Beauvillier, Tyler Johnson, Taylor Raddysh, Joey Anderson, and Andreas Athanasiou are currently out due to various injuries. Taylor Hall will be out for the remainder of the season after undergoing right knee surgery in November. Additionally, the team’s top defenseman, Seth Jones, is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and has not played since December 10th.
Pitlick, 26 years old, has played 123 career NHL games with Nashville, Minnesota, and Montreal, accumulating 21 goals and 33 assists. He was drafted by the Predators in the third round of the 2016 draft. Prior to joining the Blackhawks, Pitlick spent the beginning of this season in the AHL, recording eight goals and 16 assists in 32 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

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