Bedard's Potential Return Next Week for the Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson stated that center Connor Bedard may be able to return next week from his fractured jaw.


Progress in Recovery

Bedard, who suffered the injury on January 5, has been participating in non-contact drills and continues to skate during practice. Despite the injury, Bedard has been a standout player among NHL rookies this season, currently tied for the lead in points with 33.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Brock Faber is currently tied with Bedard for the League lead in points, although he has played 13 more games. Wild forward Marco Rossi holds the third spot in rookie points.

Richardson stated that they are hopeful for Bedard's return after the six-week mark following his surgery, which will be a week from now.

Injury and Recovery Timeline

Bedard sustained the fracture during a hit from New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith in a game on January 5. He had surgery three days later, and his original recovery timeline was 6-8 weeks.

As the six-week mark approaches, Richardson did not specify the exact game that Bedard could return for. The Blackhawks have upcoming games against the Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, and Detroit Red Wings.

Bedard has been attending weekly doctor visits, but Richardson confirmed that he did not have one this week. The medical team is confident that his recovery is progressing according to plan.

Return Plans and Progress

Bedard began skating on his own just 10 days after the injury occurred, wearing protective gear. He has gradually started participating in non-contact portions of practice and will likely continue to wear a face shield for some time.

Although Bedard was unable to play in the 2024 Honda/Rogers NHL All-Star Game due to his injury, he attended the events and made appearances as a special guest. He also expressed his eagerness to be part of a full practice.

Despite the challenges of being injured, Bedard remains positive and views his ability to skate as a significant boost in his recovery journey.