Connor Bedard to miss six to eight weeks for Blackhawks after surgery on fractured jaw

The injury will take Bedard out of the 2024 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto

Bedard leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies in scoring with 15 goals and 33 points in 39 games.(Photo by Andrew Mordzynski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Wednesday that rookie phenom Connor Bedard will miss six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair his fractured jaw.

Bedard suffered the injury following a hit by New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith last Friday.

Despite the end result, Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson didn't think there was much wrong with the hit on his star forward.

"I don't know if it was dirty," Richardson said. "I think Connor was reaching for a puck and didn't see him because he was behind one of their players. I don't think he stepped up on him. I think he just kind of stopped and Connor kind of ran head first right into him. I don't think it was intent to hit or anything. I think he was just playing hard on the blue line and trying to keep the puck out on the penalty kill."

Connor Bedard headshot
Connor Bedard
C - CHI - #98
2023 - 2024 season

Bedard, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies in scoring with 15 goals and 33 points in 39 games. That production has made him the early favorite for the Calder Trophy for NHL rookie of the year in a class that also features Marco Rossi, Adam Fantilli, Luke Hughes and Brock Faber.

The six-to-eight week timeline will force the 18-year-old Bedard to have to miss the 2024 NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 3, days after becoming the youngest player in league history to be named to the midseason event.

While Bedard has lived up to the hype, the Blackhawks as a team have had a season to forget. Through 41 games they are last in the Central Division with 26 points and 31st overall in the NHL, only ahead of the San Jose Sharks. The injury list is near double digits, and one of the veterans they signed over the summer, Corey Perry, had his contract terminated due to an off-ice incident.