Someone dared put a scratch on the future face of the NHL.
“Just collided with a guy and his jersey kind of came up. It’s not bad,” he said., “Yeah ... got cut. So nothing crazy.”
When asked if wanted to name names, he smiled and said, “No, I don’t.”
That’s about as eventful as things got on the second day of practice at Fifth Third Arena ahead of this weekend’s Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase in St. Paul, Minn. It was a fairly smooth transition for Bedard as he joined his fellow prospects for the first time.
Since being selected No. 1 in the NHL draft in June, Bedard’s hectic schedule has included Hawks development camp — which started the weekend after the draft — workouts in Toronto, BioSteel camp in mid-August, NHL rookie orientation and the NHL Players Media Tour in Las Vegas, which caused him to miss the first day of prospect camp.
“It’s so busy leading up (to camp) and obviously (the draft) is such a special night and week, I’m super grateful for all those memories, but it’s tiring,” Bedard said. “You’re all over the place, you’re pulled in a bunch of directions.”
Somehow, somewhere in there, he squeezed in time with family and friends between obligations.
“It’s definitely nice to go home for a bit,” he said. “Just tried to play some other sports here or there with some buddies. But nothing too crazy.”
Bedard said he’s happy to be able to get away from the spotlight and concentrate on hockey and building locker-room relationships.
“It feels like you’ve known these guys for longer,” he said of his new teammates. “Everyone feels really comfortable going into the room and talking.”
During drills, Bedard worked with fellow forwards Colton Dach and Nick Lardis, a third-round pick this year.
Rockford IceHogs coach Anders Sorensen, who is presiding over camp, is tasked with forming a lineup for the first prospect game Saturday.
“Lardis is quick, he’s light on his feet, thinks the game well,” Sorensen said. “Colton is a big body who creates some room. But we’ll see how it looks.”
Sorensen wouldn’t say whether Bedard will play in both games — “We’ll see” — but was impressed by the rookie’s commitment to the process.
“He’s 18 years old,” Sorensen said. “He wants to come in and make an impression on everybody in the whole world. He wants to play.”
Bedard has repeatedly cast himself as just another prospect trying to make his mark.
“I want to play a game so bad, it’s been so long, so I’m really excited for that,” he said.
“Of course there’s been a lot of photos and interviews, which is great. But I want to play hockey, so it’s good to get back here and get everything started and focus on that.”
Still, not prospect is invited to Vegas along with hockey’s elite for the NHL’s dog and pony show.
As much as Bedard relishes routine, is being treated like the future face of the league starting to feel normal? Or does it still feel surreal?
“It’s a bit of both,” he said. “When you’re actually playing, you want to be good and compete. So then it’s not really surreal.
“But then you go home or after practice and you’re like, ‘Damn. This is pretty cool.’ ”