How long will Blackhawks' Connor Bedard be out for with fractured jaw?

How long will Blackhawks' Connor Bedard be out for with fractured jaw? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Saturday morning that Connor Bedard was placed on injured reserve because of a fractured jaw. That means he'll miss a minimum of seven days, but it will surely be more.

Bedard left in the first period of Friday's 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils after taking a big hit from defenseman Brendan Smith. He was seen holding his jaw area as he went to the locker room.

"Connor was just really upset last night," Jason Dickinson said. "That's pretty much all I talked to him about was just staying positive and being OK with where he's at."

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson didn't have a clear timeline for Bedard, but traditionally these injuries are about 4-6 weeks.

Richardson revealed he once broke his jaw as a player after taking a slapshot to the mouth and he was sidelined for roughly five and a half weeks, although he admitted his was "pretty severe" because he had two plates and 15 screws put in. He had to wear a cage for a little bit after he returned as well.

"Everybody’s a little different and every break’s a little different," Richardson said. "He’s a skilled player but you come back fine and I think you’re obviously worried at the beginning, especially if it’s your first real big injury like that. But when you get through it, it’s just like anything it makes you stronger because you realize your body is very resilient and comes back."

Jarred Tinordi suffered three facial fractures for the Blackhawks last season too after taking a puck to the mouth. He was out for almost two months.

A more recent example is Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner, who has been out since Dec. 9 with a broken jaw. Ironically, he joined the team for the first time during Saturday's morning skate, wearing a visor/facemask combo. He was originally put on a six-week timetable and is almost four weeks into his recovery.

Needless to say, the NHL All-Star Game could be in jeopardy for Bedard, who would be the youngest player in league history to play in the game if he's cleared to return before then. The All-Star Game is on Feb. 3 in Toronto, which is just under a month away.

"I’m assuming they’d probably have him there," Richardson said. "He might not be able to participate but it’d be good for him to get to go that. It’d be a great honor to be there and follow through with what he’s earned so far this year and I’m sure the league would like that as well."

Bedard leads all rookies with 15 goals, 18 assists and 33 points through 39 games. He was the Calder Trophy front-runner prior to the injury, and who knows if he still will be when he returns to the lineup.

The Blackhawks will sorely miss Bedard's presence.

"It's horrible," Ryan Donato said. "He's a kid that loves being around the rink and being around the game, and to take that away from him I'm sure is a big blow to him and to us. It's definitely hard to wrap our heads around. It's so fresh still for us to realize what's going on, but we hope the best for him and hopefully we can keep him positive and the guys positive."

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